Wind Energy in UK Drives Ahead
By Anne Lewis-Schneider
Government has released the latest figures in the annual Digest of UK Energy Statistics. The figures are impressive with electricity generated by offshore wind projects having increased by 46% and onshore projects up by 17%. This means that electricity production from renewable energy sources in 2012, which are also low in carbon emissions, are up by almost 20% when compared with the previous years’ statistics, and accounted for 11% of all the electricity generated in the year.
These very crucial figures also highlight the load factor for offshore wind at 33.7% in comparison to Gas, which had a load factor of 30.4%. This confirms the ever increasing importance of this technology in the electricity mix. The increase can be put down to electricity generation increasing from both offshore and onshore wind projects and associated low carbon technologies.
The figures have come hot on the heels of the publication of the draft Electricity Market Reform Delivery Plan. This is really a crucial time for the wind industry as a whole; as the UK looks toward the coming publication of the Government’s Industrial Strategy for offshore wind, which aims to set out the Government’s plan, that will hopefully ensure that the UK will retain the economic benefits of the growth in this green energy sector.
The Deputy Chief Executive of Renewable UK has stated that these figures are confirmation of the latest trends that have been seen to highlight renewable energy forms, especially that of wind, being ever more a front runner in the generation of electricity. After the largest offshore wind farm project in the world was opened at London Array, as well as numerous large scale onshore wind sites becoming operational, the UK comes to the end of a very busy period in wind energy related technology. He continued that remarkable progress has been achieved over recent years, and that this could only bode well for the renewable energy sector. He further said that with wind generating approximately half of electricity derived from renewables, that they are leading the forward movement in the race to fulfill the need to decarbonise the UK electricity market.
Further to these figures, it also shows that the fossil fuel imported, and the UK’s dependence thereon, is expensive, not to mention pollutant to the environment. The need to continue to build upon the success of renewables was the way ahead to bring about energy independence.
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