Wind and solar output in the UK achieved a record share of nearly 24% of electricity generation in the first quarter of 2019.
In the figures, released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), total renewable generation increased by 9.2% on the same quarter last year to 31.1 terawatt hours (TWh).
As a result, renewables’ share of electricity generation was a near record 35.8% in the first quarter (Q1) of this year, up 5.3% on the share in the same quarter of last year, and reflective of increased capacity.
According to the department’s figures the UK’s renewable electricity capacity reached 45GW at the end of March, a 7.9% increase on a year earlier, mostly due to increased capacity for onshore and offshore wind and plant biomass.
In Q1 2019 onshore wind generation increased by 4.8% to 9.8TWh, whilst offshore wind increased by 7.3% to 8.6TWh.
As a result, total wind generation increased by 6% to 18.4TWh, just short of the record which had been set in in the last quarter of 2018.
Solar generation increased by 19%, from 1.8TWh in 2018 Q1 to 2.1TWh in 2019 Q1.
In Scotland renewable electricity generation reached record levels in Q1 2019, according to the figures from BEIS, reaching 8877 gigawatt hours (GWh), an increase of 17% on Q1 2018.
The latest statistics also show that the growth of Scotland’s renewable electricity capacity continues, rising from 10.4GW in March 2018 to 11.3GW in March 2019.
The Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “These figures show Scotland’s renewable energy sector continues to go from strength to strength.
“Last year, we were able to meet the equivalent of almost 74% of our electricity demand from renewable sources, and the first quarter in 2019 shows that positive trend continues.
“We are seeing the growing importance of offshore wind, with capacity and generation both continuing to rise – with further projects under construction.”
He said that despite “damaging policy changes” from the UK Government, particularly the removal of an effective route to market for onshore wind, the Scottish Government continues to provide strong support for Scotland’s renewable energy sector.
“Generation and infrastructure investment continues, not least because of the importance in preventing the damaging impacts of climate change,” Wheelhouse added.
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