New data has revealed that renewables generated over 25 per cent of the UK’s electricity in the first quarter of the year.
The latest statistics, released by the newly formed Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), reflect the increased capacity of UK energy from waste and anaerobic digestion facilities. Total electricity generated from renewables in 2016 was 23.2 TWh between January and March 2016, which was a 6.4 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. Renewable electricity capacity was up by 11.8 per cent from the previous year.
The amount of electricity generated by energy from waste facilities has grown by 12.8 per cent to 740GWh and anaerobic digestion generation increased by 16.5 per cent to 376GWh, with an 11.2 per cent growth in capacity. Plant biomass generation saw the biggest increase, with a rise of 29 per cent in the first three months of the year to 5.6TWh.
This latest data follows a report published in July by the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), which revealed that UK biogas capacity had increased by almost a third in the past year; enough to recycle over 2 million tonnes of food waste and power around 800,000 homes.
Launching the report, Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of ABDA, warned: “However, our report also shows an opportunity at risk. Using existing technology and feedstocks, the AD industry could be four times bigger than it is today – but government decisions to scale back electricity support, and uncertainty over heat and waste policies, mean that we could lose as much as 250MW of potential capacity over the next two years. That’s enough to increase our tight winter electricity capacity margin by 10 per cent.
“The Committee on Climate Change have said that getting biodegradable waste out of landfill and using AD to cut farming emissions is crucial to meet the carbon budgets set under the Climate Change Act. It’s now time for the government to set policies which will deliver those goals.”
The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) was formed in July 2016 following the merger of the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) in a government reshuffle. The department brings together responsibilities for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy, and climate change. A timetable for the department’s statistical data releases has also been published online.
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