Year sees notable increase in UK renewable power, biodiesel use

By Anna Simet | August 22, 2014

Renewables’ share of electricity generation in the U.K. consisted of a record 19.4 percent share in Q1 2014, up 6.9 percent from the same quarter in 2013, according to energy trend statistics released by the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change.

While renewable electricity share increased greatly, as did biodiesel use, bioethanol saw a very small increase.

Renewable electricity generation overall was 18.1 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2014 Q1, an increase of 43 percent from 12.7 TWh in 2013 Q1.

The highest increase was due largely to onshore and offshore wind capacity increases, and hydro. Generation from bioenergy saw modest increases—6.3 percent from one year prior, from 4.3 TWh to 4.5 TWh. Generation from plant biomass increased by a quarter, according to the DECC, from 1.8 TWh to 2.2 TWh, with the impacts of new generation coming from the conversion of Drax’s unit one from coal to wood pellets, and the Ironbridge conversions.

In the U.K. biofuels sector, in Q1 2014, 387 million liters of liquid biofuels were used for transportation, a 22 percent increase from Q1 2013, but still 15 percent lower than the record— 454 million liters in Q4 2011.

From Q1 2013 to Q1 2014, bioethanol consumption rose by only 1.1 per cent, from 190 million liters to 192 million liters. Biodiesel, however, saw a much larger increase—consumption rose by 52 percent, from 128 million liters in Q1 2013 to 195 million liters in Q1 2014.

In Q1 2014, biodiesel contributed the largest share of biofuels consumption—at 50.4 percent— for the second successive quarter, following six successive quarters of bioethanol having the majority share.