Annual renewable generation in the UK outstripped fossil fuel generation for the first time in 2020, reaching a record 43.1% share of generation, government statistics confirmed on Thursday.
According to the Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) fossil fuel generation declined to a record low of 37.7%.
The share of renewable electricity in total generation marked an increase from 36.9% in 2019. This came in spite of renewable generation capacity growing only 2% in 2020 as storm activity of the first quarter of the year fuelled renewables’ performance. Wind generation hit a record high 24.2% of the overall generation.
Only 1 GW of renewable capacity was added last year, probably due in part to the Covid-19 restrictions.
Renewable generation rose 12.6% from 2019 to 134.6 TWh, while total electricity generation declined 3.6% to 312 TWh amid low demand as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions.
Overall, in 2020 renewables accounted for 13.6% of total energy consumption, compared to 11.7% in 2019, the figures show.
Commenting on the statistics, RenewableUK’s chief executive Dan McGrail said: “This is stellar news in the year that the UK is hosting the biggest international summit on climate change for years.”
“It’s another significant step on the road to net zero emissions, but we need to move even faster and decarbonise the power sector by 2035,” added McGrail.
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