New UK stats show renewables up, fossil fuels down

Renewable energy appears to be slowly gaining ground on some of its more traditional rivals, with new figures showing the production of fossil fuels in the UK fell while renewables […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Renewable energy appears to be slowly gaining ground on some of its more traditional rivals, with new figures showing the production of fossil fuels in the UK fell while renewables rose in the first quarter of 2012. That’s according to quarterly energy statistics published by DECC today.

Compared with the year before, production of oil in the UK fell 11.6% and gas fell 14% – although the gas drop is being put down to maintenance work and slowdowns on a number of fields.

Gas also accounted for its lowest share in UK electricity in fourteen years, at 27% – although this is likely to be because of high gas prices.

In contrast, renewable energy production generally rose: onshore wind showed the highest absolute increase, vaulting by 51% from 2.4 TWh in the first quarter of 2011 to 3.6 TWh.

Energy Minister Charles Hendry said: “Today’s statistics show a clear increase on the first quarter of last year across all renewables – with rises in wind, hydro, solar and bioenergy generation.

“Alongside a 36% increase in renewables capacity in the last 12 months, this shows that the UK is powering forward on clean and secure energy and is clearly a very attractive place to invest.”

Hydro also saw a jump of 43% due to high winter rainfall. Offshore wind was up 50% and bioenergy increased by a fifth.

This was against a backdrop of lower energy use across the UK, which fell by 1.1% (taking the weather difference into account).