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Discussion > Renewables 10% contribution to UK energy

On BBC Radio 4's World Tonight (10 September), I am sure I heard Jake Berry MP say that renewables contributed 10% to the UK's energy output over the past 12 months. That is impressive ... but is it true? Sounds very unlikely to me.

Sep 10, 2012 at 7:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterTC

It is certainly not 10%, google neta for accurate data mate :)

Sep 10, 2012 at 7:24 PM | Registered CommenterDung

According to a DECC press release some time last year (problem: I can't remember the date and can't find the site) renewables accounted for 9+% of energy during the quarter to which the press release referred.
I don't know how renewables was defined but I do recall the figure because it seemed unlikely at the time.

Sep 10, 2012 at 8:11 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Probably inclusive of stored water systems......

Sep 10, 2012 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave_G

From DECC for 2010

Big jump required from 3.3% to 10% if the 10% is correct. An order of magnitude plus some. Just looking for 2011.

Renewable energy in 2010
Introduction
This article updates the information on renewable energy published in the June 2010 edition of
Energy Trends, and in the 2010 edition of the Digest of UK Energy Statistics. It also presents
revised and additional information to that provided in the “Renewable Electricity” article within the
March 2011 edition of Energy Trends.
Key messages
The amount of electricity generated from renewables sources in 2010 was 25,734 GWh, a 2.2 per
cent increase during the year.
Offshore wind generation increased by 75 per cent, but onshore wind generation fell by 6 per cent.
Generation capacity increased by nearly 1.2 GW (15 per cent).
Heat from renewable sources increased by 17 per cent during 2010 (to 1,212 ktoe); renewable
biofuels for transport also increased by 17 per cent (to 1,214 ktoe).
Renewable transport fuels accounted for 3.6 per cent of road transport fuels in 2010. Bioethanol,
as a proportion of motor spirit, increased from 1.5 per cent to 3.1 per cent.
Renewable energy provisionally accounted for 3.3 per cent of energy consumption, as measured
using the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive methodology. This is an increase of 0.3 percentage
points from the 2009 position of 3.0 per cent.
A number of weather factors had a major impact on renewable electricity generation during 2010;
rainfall was 63 per cent lower than in 2009, making it the driest year since 2003, and average wind
speeds were at their lowest level this century. Whilst these factors affect the raw 2010 outputs of
renewables, the key Directive measures use a normalisation approach to smooth the year on year
impacts of variable wind and rain.
There are various national and internationally agreed measures of the contribution renewable
electricity makes to the generation mix. These show that in 2010:
 6.8 per cent of electricity generation measured against the “International Definition” came
from renewables (not normalised).
 7.0 per cent of electricity sales by licensed suppliers in the UK were from electricity
generated from renewables eligible for the Renewables Obligation, up from 6.7 per cent in
2009 (not normalised).
 7.4 per cent of electricity consumption, as measured using the 2009 Renewable Energy
Directive methodology, came from eligible renewable sources (normalised).
 6.7 per cent of electricity generation, as measured using the 2001 Renewables Directive
methodology, came from eligible renewable sources; if normalisation is used (adopting the
2009 Renewable Energy Directive methodology) the proportion increases to 7.3 per cent.

Sep 12, 2012 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

2011 found at, and nothing like 10%

http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/stats/publications/energy-trends/articles/5629-renewable-energy-2011-et-article.pdf


Key messages
Renewable energy provisionally accounted for 3.8 per cent of energy consumption, as measured
using the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive methodology. This is an increase from the revised
2010 position of 3.2 per cent.
The amount of electricity generated from renewables sources in 2011 was 34,410 GWh, a 33 per
cent increase on 2010. Wind generation saw the largest increases – offshore wind up 68 per cent,
and onshore wind up 45 per cent. Hydro generation also saw a large increase, up 56 per cent.
Generation capacity increased by 3.1 GW (33 per cent) to 12.3 GW. The main sources of this
increase were: solar photovoltaics (up 0.9 GW); plant biomass (up 0.8 GW, mainly due to the
conversion of Tilbury B power station to dedicated biomass); onshore wind (up 0.6 GW) and
offshore wind (up 0.5 GW).
A number of weather factors had a major impact on renewable electricity generation during 2011;
rainfall levels were 84 per cent higher than in 2010 (which was the driest year since 2003).
Average windspeeds were 1.4 knots higher than in 2010. Whilst these factors affect the raw 2011
outputs of renewables, the key Renewable Energy Directive measure uses a normalisation
approach to smooth the year on year impacts of differing wind and rain patterns.
There are various national and internationally agreed measures of the contribution renewable
electricity makes to the generation mix. These show that in 2011:
• 9.7 per cent of electricity sales by licensed suppliers in the UK were from electricity
generated from renewables eligible for the Renewables Obligation, up from 7.0 per cent in
2010 (not normalised).
• 8.7 per cent of electricity consumption, as measured using the 2009 Renewable Energy
Directive methodology, came from eligible renewable sources (normalised).
• 9.2 per cent of electricity generation, as measured using the 2001 Renewables Directive
methodology, came from eligible renewable sources; if normalisation is used (adopting the
2009 Renewable Energy Directive methodology) the proportion decreases to 8.6 per cent.
• 9.4 per cent of electricity generation measured against the “International Definition” came
from renewables (not normalised).
Heat from renewable sources increased by 5 per cent during 2011 (to 1,220 ktoe).
Renewable biofuels for transport fell by 7 per cent (to 1,127 ktoe). They accounted for 3.5 per cent
by volume of road transport fuels in 2011. Bioethanol, as a proportion of motor spirit, increased by
0.3 percentage points to 3.3 per cent, whilst biodiesel as a proportion of DERV fell by 0.5
percentage points to 3.6 per cent.

Sep 12, 2012 at 9:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Just thought I would email Jake Berry and ask him to substantiate his "about 10%" claim with a reference. That was 3 days ago and despite a reminder I'm still waiting. I guess it'll be a long wait. The silence however speaks volumes.

Sep 15, 2012 at 5:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterTC

I guess, that included in this figure for "renewables" is any electricity generated by bio-mass.

The stupidity and dishonesty of our government's approach was well summarised in Matt Ridley's article

http://www.mattridley.co.uk/blog/bioenergy-versus-the-planet.aspx

This is how they hope to meet their target of 20% renewable by 2020, and that is for all energy not just electricity.

Not only does this approach lead to the daftness that Dr. Ridley highlights, but it also means that the subsidy for heat pumps is pushed hard at the expense of gas, even though for many the gas will prove cheaper (maybe much cheaper with fracking) to install and run. It will be illegal to install propane heating in rural properties from 2016, making you use electricity (heat pumps) because electricity will be from "renewables". Mostly imported and of course gas would emit less CO2 as well.

Just another fine mess.

Sep 15, 2012 at 5:55 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave