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Energy Blog Renewable Energy Generation Up & Emissions Down

Renewable Energy Generation Up & Emissions Down

Chris Hurcombe
by Chris Hurcombe April 4, 2012
Renewable Energy Generation Up & Emissions Down

As we get ready to publish our latest UK energy market report the DECC released last year’s energy statistics. Even though figures did not match the predicted targets Renewable energy generation expanded significantly and carbon emissions fell in 2011.

Renewable energy generation registered an increase of 35% in comparison to the previous year (2010). Back then renewables accounted for 6.8% of all electricity supplied in the UK. Last year it was responsible for 9,5%, only 0,5% short of the illusive 10% mark that had been predicted.

Overall low carbon generation rose about 4% accounting for 28.4% of all electricity generation in 2011. Offshore wind and hydroelectric generation registered the biggest increases followed by onshore wind and thermal renewables (including co-firing).

The following shows exactly how much each source expanded and the amount o energy it generated:

Renewable electricity source, TWh, % change on 2010

1. Onshore wind – 10.42 + 45.9%

2. Offshore wind – 5.11 + 67.9%

3. Hydro – 5.69 + 58.0%

4. Thermal renewables (inc. co-firing) – 13.27 + 11.4%

5. All renewables – 34.75 + 35.1%

Nuclear generation rose by 11.1% mainly because there were extensive outages the previous year.

With the increase in low carbon energy generation it was only logical that the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions retracted. According to figures released last week (March 29) by the Department of Climate Change (DCC) emissions were 7% lower than the 2010 figures.

“The  decrease in  CO2 emissions between  2010 and  2011 resulted primarily from  a decrease  in  residential gas use, combined with  a reduction in demand for electricity accompanied by lower use of gas and greater use of nuclear power for electricity generation” – UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions Provisional Figures, download the complete report here.

Unfortunately the expansion of renewable energy generation and lower carbon emission did not have any effect on business gas and electricity prices.

On average business gas prices were 15.9% higher in the last quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 and that is including the CCL. If we were to exclude the CCL prices would be 16% higher.

Business electricity prices were 3.5% higher including the CCL and 3.6% excluding in the same comparison period.

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