Record share of energy mix for renewables

Solar PV generation produced a record amount of electricity in Great Britain during the second quarter of the year, helping the broader renewables sector to hit a new high.

A total of 4.6TWh was generated by solar between April and June, up 0.9% year-on-year.

The boost meant renewable energy’s share of the energy mix rose to a record 31.7%. Gas accounted for 42%, nuclear for 21.7% and coal for a fresh low of 1.6%.

Summer’s sun

Renewable energy capacity rose by 3.9GW year-on-year to 42.2GW, with half of the increase coming from offshore wind farms.

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which published the figures, said: “We’ve hit another landmark record, with this summer’s intense sunshine generating enough solar power to fuel over a million homes.”

But the Renewable Energy Association (REA) pointed to a slowdown in the number of solar panels being installed. Just 21MW was deployed in July and August due to cuts to subsidies, the trade body said.

Government support needed

James Court, Policy & External Affairs Director at the REA, welcomed the latest figures, but warned: “For renewables to continue to become more affordable and for the UK to grow its green jobs base, the Government must continue to support the industry.

“Figures show that the lack of support is already having a significant impact on solar power for example, which is currently the cheapest option for new power generation.

“Government must introduce alternative support and unlock a route to market if the UK is to benefit from cheaper, greener and smarter energy.”

> Download the figures