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How much of the UK’s energy is renewable?

Oct 14, 2019 - 2min read

What are the UK’s renewable energy targets?

According to the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, the current UK goal is to meet 30% of our electricity consumption with renewable energy by 2020. There are also targets in place to meet 12% of heat generation and 10% of transport energy using renewables within the same timeframe.

How much of the UK’s energy is renewable currently?

Energy statistics released in June 2019 indicate that the UK is on track to meet this 30% target, with 35.8% of our electricity generation coming from renewables in Q1 2019. Data from 2018 showed that renewable heat represented 7.3% of total heat consumption, and renewable energy for transport represented 6.2% of total transport energy.

If we compare the latest data from Q1 2019 to the previous year, the shift is clear to see. Renewables are the big winner in the transition away from fossil fuels like coal, with the % share of electricity generation increasing from 30.5% to 35.8% in just one year.

How much solar energy is produced in the UK?

Solar energy is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy sources for the UK, with its share in the renewable market doubling in just 4 years. This puts it on a similar trajectory to offshore wind, as these are two of the most suitable energy sources for the UK climate. In fact, as of the end of July 2019, there is a total of 1,010,076 solar installations in the UK, equating to 13,268.7 MW of solar capacity1.

The lion’s share of the rest of the UK’s renewable energy comes from four other sources - offshore wind farms, onshore wind farms, bioenergy, and hydro energy. You can see their growth over time in the graphs below:

The renewable energy share in Europe

Overall in 2017, the share of renewables across the EU was 17.5%, with 11 member states hitting their 2020 targets already! The UK’s renewable energy targets are not as ambitious as those of some other European countries, with Scandinavian countries in particular leading the way.

It will be interesting to see how the UK’s use of renewable energy changes over the next few years. The effects of climate change mean we will have to keep adapting to changing weather conditions and temperatures, and public pressure on environmental issues is growing every day. Any modern government will be expected to lead the way with developing new and sustainable methods of using renewable energy, so we hope to see the UK continue to set ambitious renewable targets and take action to meet these goals as quickly as possible.

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