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22% of electricity from renewables

Published 25/06/2015

Wind turbines helped increase renewable energy supplies in the first three months of 2015
Wind turbines helped increase renewable energy supplies in the first three months of 2015

A record 22.3% of electricity was generated by renewables such as wind, biomass and solar in the first three months of this year, figures show.

The share of UK power coming from renewables was 2.6 percentage points up on the first quarter of last year, and slightly higher than in the previous three months, the data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) revealed.

The total amount of electricity generated by renewables increased by 15% for the first three months of the year compared to the same period last year, with biomass power plants almost doubling their output.

Electricity from solar panels was up 60% on the first quarter last year, due to more installations, while w ind generation increased by 5.3%, with more turbines installed - particularly offshore - offsetting slightly lower wind speeds than in January to March 2014.

Overall, low-carbon power accounted for more than two-fifths (41.4%) of total UK electricity generation in the first three months of 2015, with nuclear up from 17.6% of the mix in the beginning of 2014 to 19% this year.

Coal fired generation fell from 37% in January to March 2014 to less than a third (31.3%) for the first three months of this year, while gas was up from 23.2% to a quarter (25%) in 2015.

The news of the rise in renewables comes days after the Government announced it was ending early subsidies for new onshore wind farms.

Juliet Davenport, chief executive of renewable electricity supplier Good Energy, said: " Yet again renewables are really proving their worth and it's fantastic to see that nearly a quarter of our electricity was generated by renewable sources at the start of 2015.

"Renewables have shown incredible growth in the last few years and are leading the way when it comes to making the UK more energy secure in the future.

"This just proves how short-sighted the Government's plans to end onshore wind subsides a year earlier than planned really are.

"A future powered solely by renewables is possible but only if solid, stable governmental support for renewable energy is in place."

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