Energy statistics for quarter 3 of 2010 released today by the Department of Energy and Climate Change show biggest ever contribution from renewables to the United Kingdoms electricity supply at 8.6%. The statistics also show that contribution from wind has risen by a massive 37% compared to same quarter in 2009. RenewableUK, the countrys leading renewable energy trade association, commented today that wind now supplies just under half of all renewable electricity in the UK, making it the nations leading renewable technology in terms of actual units delivered to the grid.
Alex Murley, RenewableUK Head of Technical Affairs, said: Todays results have two important implications: we are now within reach of 10% of electricity from renewables, having had around 2% a decade ago. The renewables industry has managed to deliver a five fold increase in actual units delivered to consumers since 2001. Secondly, this gives us confidence that, with the right policy support, we can deliver on our 2020 targets. There are no technological barriers to having a third of our electricity from renewables in the next 10 years - it is perfectly doable.
Industry statistics show that there are currently 8,617 megawatts (MW) of wind farm capacity either in construction or with planning permits around the UK scheduled to go on stream within the next 24 to 36 months. Together with the 5,194 MW of operational capacity this should provide around 37 terrawatt/hours per year, which will push the total contribution from all renewables above that of nuclear.
It will also mean that within the same period onshore wind is set to become a major electricity contributor, providing around 6% to 7% of the UKs net electricity consumption.
We have been forecasting that wind will make an important contribution to the UKs electricity supply within a comparatively short time frame. Wind is also set to provide not just clean electricity, but the jobs and the economic regeneration this country needs. Onshore the British Isles have the best wind resource in Europe, while offshore we are world-leaders. Building on these undeniable facts could transform the UK into a regional renewable energy powerhouse, concluded Murley.