UK sets new quarterly record for renewable electricity generation

By Erin Voegele | January 03, 2019

The U.K. government recently released updated quarterly energy statistics showing that the renewables share of electricity generation increased to a record 33.1 percent during the third quarter of 2018, up from 30 percent during the same period of 2017. Overall renewable energy capacity in the U.K. reached 43.2 gigawatts (GW) at the end of the third quarter, up 10 percent—or 3.9 GW—when compared to the same period of the previous year.

Electricity production from all renewables reached 25 terawatt hours (TWh) during the third quarter of 2018, up 10 percent when compared to the same period of 2017. Generation from bioenergy, including cofiring, reached 9 TWh, up 15.2 percent when compared to the third quarter of 2017 and was the highest among all renewable technologies.

Information published by the U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy indicates bioenergy capacity increased by 10 percent when compared to the second quarter of 2018. Approximately 645 megawatts (MW) of that 649 MW increase came from plant biomass, including the conversion of an additional unit to biomass at Drax.

For plant biomass, the load factor for the third quarter of 20018 was 76 percent, up 4.3 percent when compared to the same period of the previous year. However, the load factor was down 4.7 percent when compared the second quarter of 2018.