Bio-power boosts renewable energies’ UK electricity generation by almost 5% in Autumn 2017

Renewable energy trends 3Q 2017; Source BEIS
Renewable energies’ share of electricity generation by type, 3Q 2017 – showing the large rise in bio-power: Source BEIS

Renewables’ share of electricity generation was 30 per cent in 2017 Q3 – up 4.6 percentage points on the share in 2016 Q3, with increased renewable capacity and availability (as well as lower overall generation), outweighing slightly less favourable weather conditions for renewable generation (lower wind speeds).

However, this was down 0.7 percentage points on 2017 Q2’s record 30.7 per cent, according to latest data from BEIS.

Bioenergy generation rose by 23 per cent (1.4 TWh) –  the highest increase across the technologies, to 7.6 TWh, due to increased availability at Drax, following outages one year ago

Renewable electricity generation was 22.3 TWh in 2017 Q3 – an increase of 15 per cent on the 19.3 TWh in 2016 Q3, though 11 per cent lower than the peak quarterly generation of 2017 Q1 (25.1 TWh).

Onshore wind generation increased by 20 per cent, from 4.6 TWh in 2016 Q3 to 5.6 TWh in 2017 Q3, while offshore wind increased from 3.6 TWh to 3.9 TWh, an increase of 10 per cent. (Chart 6.2)

Renewable electricity capacity was 38.9 GW at the end of 2017 Q3, a 13 per cent increase (4.4 GW) on a year earlier, and a 2.1 per cent (0.8 GW) increase on the previous quarter, with half of the annual increase coming from onshore wind, and around one quarter from offshore wind. 

In 2017 Q3, just 62 MW of capacity eligible for the Feed in Tariff scheme was installed, increasing the total to 6.2 GW, across 914,560 installations. 

Liquid biofuels consumption fell by 4.5 per cent, from 385 million litres in 2016 Q3 to 368 million litres in 2017 Q3. Bioethanol consumption increased by 0.7 per cent while biodiesel consumption decreased by 9.5 per cent.

In 2017 Q3, liquid biofuels represented 3.1 per cent of petrol and diesel consumed in road transport, down from 3.2 per cent a year earlier.

9 Mar 2018

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