Clegg and Huhne set out government commitment to renewables

The UK government has set it’s cards on the table by announcing proposals to support renewable electricity and bring forward a surge of investment in the UK energy infrastructure.

The consultation proposes new support levels for large scale renewable electricity from 2013-17 (2014-17 for offshore wind) under the Renewables Obligation (RO). As a result of these proposals, they expect to see 70-75 TWh of renewable electricity in the UK by 2017. This is 70% of the way towards the 108TWh of electricity needed to meet the UK’s 2020 renewable energy target.

The proposals are expected to cost between £0.4 and £1.3bn less than retaining current bandings and drive a higher level of deployment than leaving bandings as they are. The announcement claims “The proposals also provide industry with the certainty needed to make investment decisions and will overall mean a lower impact on consumer bills, without reducing our level of ambition.”

Full press release and banding table on DECC website.

ANALYSIS OF THE LATEST UK ELECTRICITY GENERATION FIGURES

The latest figures released from DECC point to a marked increase in renewables generation in Q1 and Q2 of 2011 across the UK – 2 page summary analysis available below (word format);
ANNALYSIS OF SEPTEMBER 2011 DECC UK ELECTRICITY GENERATION FIGURES

Electricity generated in the second quarter of 2011 fell by 1.6 per cent (-1 TWh) compared with a year earlier.
– Coal generation was down 2.3 % (-0.4 TWh).
– Gas generation was down 18.3 % (-8 TWh), due to higher gas prices.
– Nuclear sources were up 38.4 % (+5 TWh), with increased availability compared with a year earlier.
– Hydro was up 74.5 % (+0.5 TWh), due to much higher rainfall than a year earlier.
– Wind generation up 120.3 % (+2 TWh) , with increased capacity and much higher wind speeds in May and June 2011. It was the windiest May in at least the last ten years. Of wind generation, 31 per cent was from offshore.

Renewables’ share of total generation in 2011 quarter 2 was 9.3 per cent, an increase of 3.2 percentage points on 2010 quarter 2’s 6.1 per cent.

DECC note – generation data for the latest quarter are highly provisional. This mainly affects thermal technologies, such as landfill gas, where generation is largely in the hands of smaller generators. For these smaller generators, data for the most recent month are not available, so are estimated.

Link to DECC downloads area…