UK’s renewables share drops to 35.9% in Q3 2021 on slow winds

Wind farm in UK. Author: Mycatkins. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic

January 5 (Renewables Now) - The share of renewables in total electricity generation in the UK contracted to 35.9% in the third quarter of 2021, down 4 percentage points from a year earlier and the lowest since the second quarter of 2019.

Renewable generation in the quarter fell 17% year-over-year to 24.3 TWh, a four-year low, government statistics showed in late December. It was hit by unfavourable weather, in particular the slowest wind speeds in the current century, which led to a 30% fall in wind generation compared to the third quarter of 2020. Solar photovoltaic (PV) generation went down 1.8%, reflecting less average hours of sunlight than in the year-ago quarter.

The table below contains data on the shares of renewable sources in electricity generated.

% of electricity generated Q3 2021 y/y percentage point change
Onshore wind 6.1 -3
Offshore wind 9 -2
Solar PV 6.2 0.4
Hydro 1 -0.6
Bioenergy and waste 13.7 1.2
All renewables 35.9 -4

At the same time, the share of fossil fuels in generation increased 2.5 percentage points year-over-year to 44.8%.

In the third quarter of 2021, the UK had slightly more than 49 GW of total installed renewable energy capacity. This represents an increase of 3%, or 1.4 GW, from the same period the previous year. Offshore wind accounted for around half of the new capacity. Renewable capacity of 609 MW was added in the third quarter alone, some of which was probably previously delayed due to Covid-19 measures.

Electricity demand decreased slightly year-over-year in the period. Generation was down 7.7% to 67.7 TWh, while net imports more than doubled to a record 7.6 TWh.

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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