The UK’s power sector continued on its trajectory towards “rapid” adoption of renewables in 2017, according to official government statistics.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s 2017 Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES), released last week, placed renewables’ share of power generation at 29.3%, a new record and up by almost five percentage points on the 2016 share (24.5%).
This was representative of almost 100TWh of renewable power generation (99.3TWh) over the course of the year, aided by increases in generation capacity of the country’s three top renewables; solar, and both onshore and offshore wind.
However there was something of a changing of the guard within those three, as onshore wind regained its crown as the top renewable generator by capacity from solar PV, who briefly topped the charts in 2016.
As of the end of last year, onshore wind held 31.7% of the UK’s entire nameplate renewable generation capacity, just enough to dethrone solar PV, which held 31.5% of nameplate capacity.
Onshore wind was too the most prolific generator of renewable power. Generation from onshore wind soared 39% year-on-year on the back of higher wind speeds to 29.1TWh with offshore wind experiencing a similar boon, up 27% to 20.9TWh.
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