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New UK record: nearly 15% of electricity from renewables, –more than half from wind

August 1, 2014 in EIA, Environment, EV News, Politics, Wind

Fossil fuels (petroleum and other liquids, natural gas, and coal) account for most of the United Kingdom's (UK) energy consumption. Although renewable energy use is growing, particularly in the electric power sector, fossil fuels accounted for 86% of total primary energy consumption in 2012.  Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, from UK Department of Energy and Climate Change Courtesy of EIA

Fossil fuels (petroleum and other liquids, natural gas, and coal) account for most of the United Kingdom’s (UK) energy consumption. Although renewable energy use is growing, particularly in the electric power sector, fossil fuels accounted for 86% of total primary energy consumption in 2012. – EIA
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, from UK Department of Energy and Climate Change
Courtesy of EIA

RenewableUK says Government statistics released today (7-31-14) show that onshore and offshore wind energy is playing the central role in the country’s successful transition from fossil fuels to clean renewables.

In its annual Digest of UK Energy Statistics, the Department of Energy and Climate Change says electricity generated from renewable sources increased by 30% in 2013 compared to the previous year, and accounted for 14.9% of total UK electricity generation (up from 11.3% in 2012).

DECC says onshore wind continued to be the leading technology for generating electricity from renewable sources, providing 32% of the total, while offshore wind generated a further 21%, making a total of 53% of all renewable energy from wind. This means that 7.9% of the UK’s electricity was generated by onshore and offshore wind in 2013.

Offshore wind generation increased by 52%, and onshore wind generation increased by 40%. The installed capacity of renewables increased by 27% (4.2 gigawatts) to 19.7GW in 2013, mainly as a result of a 27% increase in onshore wind capacity (1.6GW) and a 23% increase in offshore wind capacity.

For the first time, more than 5% of the UK’s total energy supply (electricity, heat, and fuel for transport) came from renewables – up from 4.2% in 2012 to 5.2% in 2013. The UK needs to meet a legally binding target of 15% of all energy from renewables by 2020.

Both the onshore and offshore load factors (37.5% and 27.9%) exceeded or equalled that of gas (27.9%). Load factors for wind in 2013 were the highest since 1998, due to high wind speeds, particularly in the last quarter of the year.

RenewableUK’s Director of Policy Dr Gordon Edge said: “This abundance of excellent statistics should make those in Government who have failed to support wind energy sit up and take notice. More than half of Britain’s clean electricity now comes from onshore and offshore wind. We’re now on course to hit 10% of electricity from wind alone this year.

“That’s why it’s particularly puzzling to see some politicians fail to back the cheapest and most successful renewable technology, onshore wind, at a time when a majority of voters from all the main parties are telling them that they support it. Many will ask why some  Government Ministers act as cheerleaders for technologies like fracking for shale gas that can only deliver supplies years down the line, when wind is delivering here and now, onshore and offshore, keeping all our bills down by becoming more cost effective year after year.” 

This article is a repost (7-31-14), credit: RenewableUK.

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Investing in renewables ‘top priority’ for energy security irrespective of voting intention, poll finds (UK)

July 25, 2014 in EIA, Environment, EV News, Greentech, Oil, Politics, Wind

By RenewableUK

Courtesy of EIA

Courtesy of EIA

Investing in renewables is seen as the top priority for maintaining energy security by nearly half the British population – a view reflected across voters of all four major political parties – according to new polling information conducted by ComRes on behalf of RenewableUK. This follows research published last week that found politicians opposing wind development are a turn off for voters.

48% of respondents chose investing in renewables as their number one priority, far ahead of the next most popular choice – building new nuclear reactors – which came in at 15%. Fracking came a distant fourth behind reducing consumption, including for half of people living in the 40 most marginal Labour/Conservative constituencies.

The opinion poll research revealed that of those surveyed:

· 48% of people want to prioritise developing renewables, 50% in marginals;

· Renewables were top priority among voters of the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems and UKIP, both nationally and in marginal seats;

· Fracking was the top priority for 13% of people, slumping to 8% in marginals;

Courtesy of EIA

Courtesy of EIA

The public also see securing our energy supplies as one of the most important priorities for the Government, with 53% of people citing it as a top 5 priority. Other issues considered a top five priority were unemployment, inflation, law and order and the NHS. Just 5% of people said reducing onshore wind farms should be a priority.

RenewableUK Chief Executive Maria McCaffery said: “This poll shows that the public want to tackle our energy security crisis by investing in renewables like wind, wave and tidal power and offsetting the need to import volatile and dirty fossil fuels from insecure parts of the world. Onshore wind, as the cheapest low carbon electricity source is a crucial component of that so it’s no wonder that the electorate will reject Parties that rule out its future use.”

This article is a repost, credit: RenewableUK.

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High wind speeds lead renewables to hit all-time high at nearly 20% of electricity mix (UK)

July 1, 2014 in EIA, Environment, EV News, Wind

Courtesy of Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook

Courtesy of Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook

RenewableUK says new statistics published today (6-26-14) by the Department of Energy and Climate Change prove the case for wind power. The figures show that 19.4% of all the UK’s electricity mix in the first quarter of this year was generated from renewable energy sources, compared to 12.4% for the same period in the previous year. DECC says the primary reason for the increase was improved performance and greater capacity from onshore and offshore wind power.

Total renewable electricity generation was a record 18.1 terawatt hours in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 12.7 terawatt hours the previous year, an increase of 43%. This is enough to power 15.17 million homes for the quarter. Coal, gas and nuclear production all fell in the same period.

Onshore wind showed the highest absolute increase in generation, increasing by 62% to 6.6 terawatt hours, with offshore wind increasing by 53% to 4.4 terawatt hours. This made onshore wind the largest source of renewable electricity, with the technology providing 7.2% of all electricity across the UK. The combined total for onshore and offshore wind was nearly 12% of all electricity. The increase was partially due to increases in installed capacity, but also record high performance factors (load factors) of 40.4% for onshore wind and 54.3% for offshore wind. In addition, wave and tidal production increased 77%.

The paper also confirms previously released statistics for 2013, once again showing record performance for renewables across the year, led by onshore wind. However, the document does confirm that progress towards the overall energy target, including heat and transport, was below the interim target that the Government set out for 2013, highlighting the need to keep investing in renewable electricity – including onshore wind.

RenewableUK’s Director of External Affairs Jennifer Webber said: “Once again, wind delivered strongly for the UK in the first quarter of the year – when we need power most – providing nearly 12% of all our electricity. At a time when some politicians were finalising their plans to rule out any future support for onshore wind, it was quietly generating enough electricity for the equivalent of over 5 and a half million homes. Offshore wind also made a significant contribution to getting us off the hook of fossil fuels and reducing our dependence imported energy.

Onshore wind is delivering today, and it’s deeply illogical to talk about limiting its potential. Without the strong performance of wind last year, the Government would have been even further behind its energy targets. That’s why we need to ensure that there’s continued investment in both onshore and offshore wind moving forward.”

The statistics come the day after RenewableUK announced its 2015 General Election Manifesto which includes a pledge for onshore wind to be the cheapest form of new generation by 2020, with a lower price point than new gas, nuclear or other renewables – as long as the next Government is supportive. The Association announced the formation of a cost-cutting taskforce to highlight the initiatives needed to ensure this happens.

Commenting on this, Ms Webber said:

“We’ve shown this week that with the right policy support by 2020 the cheapest way to generate new electricity, to replace all the older power stations that are closing down, will be onshore wind. It’s time for all politicians to recognise the role that onshore wind is playing in our electricity provision and security of supply – and give it their support. Otherwise we’re signing up future consumers to a higher cost future, in hock to foreign powers for our electricity”.

Courtesy of EIA

Courtesy of EIA

This article is a repost (6-26-14), credit: RenewableUK.

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Major developments for Wave and Tidal industries

September 18, 2013 in Environment, EV News, Greentech, Ocean / Tidal Energy

Artist Impression of Site Image courtesy of MeyGen Ltd.

Artist Impression of Site
Image courtesy of MeyGen Ltd.

RenewableUK today (9-16-13) welcomed news that MeyGen Ltd. has been awarded consent by the Scottish Government for an 86 Megawatt tidal energy project, following the completion of the statutory approval process with the regulator Marine Scotland.

Located in the Pentland Firth, off the north coast of Scotland, this project has the potential to generate up to 398 Megawatts of clean electricity and power thousands of homes. It is also set to be the biggest tidal stream site in Europe and maintain the UK’s place as the world leader in tidal technology. The first phase of the project will see 6 tidal turbines commissioned in the inner sound of the Pentland Firth, enabling this exciting technology to mature, before the subsequent phases take the project up to the consented limit of 86MW and beyond to the leased capacity of 398 Megawatt. A recent study by Oxford University noted that the Pentland Firth could generate 1.9 Gigawatts of clean electricity.

Pelamis Wave Device Photo courtesy of RenewableUK

Pelamis Wave Device
Photo courtesy of RenewableUK

Also today the Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP announced that Wave developers Aquamarine Power Limited and Pelamis Wave Power are to share a slice of a GBP13 million wave “first array” support programme, part of the Scottish Government’s Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund.

David Krohn, Wave and Tidal Manager at RenewableUK said: “Today’s two announcements show that both wave and tidal technologies are developing at a rapid rate are set to make a real contribution to the electricity needs both of Scotland and the UK.

“MeyGen’s consent approval is a truly monumental milestone for the industry as it is far and away the largest marine energy consent ever achieved. The inner sound of the Pentland Firth is one of the most promising sites in the world to develop tidal energy projects and it is heartening to see the project progressing towards installation.

“The award of £13million to the world’s two leading wave energy companies, Aquamarine and Pelamis, is welcome boost to the industry in Scotland. The Scottish Government has once again demonstrated its desire to turn Scotland into the world’s leading renewable energy economy. It is no surprise that the Scottish Government is such a staunch supporter of the wave energy industry, given the high level of local content in these two pioneering companies’ activities and the immense potential they have for creating jobs and boosting manufacturing opportunities.”

  • More information on MeyGen’s Pentland Firth project can be found here:
  • See more information about Aquamarine Power limited here:
  • See more on Pelamis Wave Power here:
  • See here for more information about the Oxford University study:

This article is a repost, credit: RenewableUK.

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Massive UK industrial base for offshore wind moves a step closer

August 29, 2013 in Environment, EV News, Greentech, Wind

Scroby Sands offshore wind farm Photo courtesy of RenewableUK

Scroby Sands offshore wind farm
Photo courtesy of RenewableUK

RenewableUK has welcomed today’s (8-28-13) Government announcement that it is minded to grant planning permission for a huge industrial base for the offshore wind sector on the east coast of England as a significant step forward which could lead to the creation of thousands of jobs.

This is a positive step forward for the £450 million project, Able Marine Energy Park, which covers nearly 800 acres of the south bank of the Humber and moves it a step closer to unlocking the potential to create up to 4,000 high-quality jobs supplying components for offshore wind turbines, as well as providing an assembly and installation base for North Sea projects. RenewableUK is now looking forward to examination of the two issues contained in the announcement so that a final decision can be reached as there has already been a significant delay.

RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive, Maf Smith, said:

Today’s announcement marks an important step forward in the development of the UK’s offshore wind manufacturing sector. This project demonstrates the massive scale of the opportunity we have to revitalise coastal areas around the country, creating tens of thousands of green-collar jobs by focusing specifically on marine renewables. Development of sites like this will be important in building a national and regional cluster of supply chain companies. We know that the Government wants to take more time to look at certain aspects of the decision, and we look forward to their swift examination of these details so that we can get a green light once and for all and the project can start providing the economic boost for the area that we know it can.

This summer has proved to be a watershed season for the UK’s offshore wind industry. The Prime Minister David Cameron officially opened the world’s largest offshore wind farm, London Array, and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg opened the Lincs offshore wind farm. Looking ahead, Government has given planning consent to an even bigger project, Triton Knoll, to be built off the east coast of England. This means that the work is out there for ports to capitalise on. We know that the UK is the top destination for offshore wind investment and this is the type of project we need to make sure British companies and workers feel the benefits of that investment.

This news comes on the same day as the UK was once again confirmed as the number one country in the world for offshore wind investment. This was confirmed by the August 2013 edition of the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) produced by leading professional services firm Ernst and Young.

This article is a repost, credit: RenewableUK,

Tesla Soars, World wants and needs Sustainability

August 26, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Tesla

Photo courtesy of Tesla

Photo courtesy of Tesla

Tesla stock (TSLA) soared to an all-time high today of $173 per share.  Incredible!  The stock closed the session at $164.22, up 1.47% on the day.  Individual and institutional investors have been piling into the shares since the stock broke above $40 per share.  The TSLA stock chart is phenomenal.

Tesla tweeted on 8-23-13: “The view is great up here.  Explore new heights this weekend.”  Apparently, the stock took that advice on Monday (today).

Tesla tweeted today: “At least five Model S could be stacked on top of each other without the bottom vehicle’s roof caving in.”

Unfortunately, the roof has been caving in Asia.

Oil prices remain elevated, despite severe weakness in Asian currencies.  WTI oil is around $106.5, and Brent is over $111 per barrel.  As to Asian currencies, foreign investors have been in panic mode, pulling monies from the region.  Indonesia’s Rupiah has been very volatile, scrambling on a slippery cliff, and India’s Rupee has sunk to the low, currently trading at 65.35 to the US Dollar (Bloomberg Asia-Pacific Currencies).  Unfortunately, history has often shown that financial fear is a much stronger human emotion than greed.

On a positive note, the British Pound has stabilized over many months due in large part to the UK moving dramatically ahead with renewable energies, particularly wind energy.  As of August 1, the UK had enough wind energy (onshore and offshore) to power 5.5 million homes, according to RenewableUK,

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Deputy Prime Minister unveils blueprint for offshore wind job creation, as wind industry achieves landmark 10 gigawatts, Source: RenewableUK

August 24, 2013 in Environment, EV News, Greentech, Wind

  • Offshore wind is “a core and cost-effective part of the UK’s long-term electricity mix”
  • Key role for RenewableUK in bridging skills gap to create jobs
  • Onshore and offshore wind industry crosses 10GW installed capacity threshold – enough to power more than 5.5 million homes
Offshore Wind Installation Photo courtesy of RenewableUK

Offshore Wind Installation
Photo courtesy of RenewableUK

RenewableUK has welcomed the launch of the Government’s Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. The joint Government/Industry plan to consolidate the UK’s position as the global leader in offshore wind energy was hailed by RenewableUK’s Chief Executive as “a blueprint for green-collar job creation”.

Speaking at the official launch of the Industrial Strategy at the opening of Lincs Offshore Wind Farm, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “The race is now on to lead the world in clean, green energy. As an island nation, and with our weather, the UK is ideally placed to make the most of offshore wind energy – you could say it was a technology designed for us.

“This strategy will help keep Britain as the world leader in one of the most important industries of the 21st Century. If we make the most of offshore wind’s potential in the UK, it can provide a big proportion of the energy that lights our homes and powers our economy.”

The Strategy describes offshore wind as “a core and cost-effective part of the UK’s long-term electricity mix”. It sets out specific actions to attract investment worth billions of pounds and to create tens of thousands of long-term jobs, with major manufacturing facilities established in the UK, and a healthy supply chain.

RenewableUK is named in the Industrial Strategy as a key player, providing detailed information on the many opportunities available to British supply chain companies through multi-million pound initiatives such as GROW: Offshore Wind, as well as publishing full timescales of the pipeline of offshore wind energy projects in UK waters. The trade association has also been tasked with forming closer ties with the oil and gas sector to learn lessons on how to drive down costs.

The Strategy highlights RenewableUK’s work in attracting skilled recruits from other sectors into the offshore wind industry with initiatives such as the Renewables Training Network which aim to bridge the skills gap. The document also commits RenewableUK to continuing to work with colleges and universities, to ensure that engineering courses in particular focus more on offshore wind, as well as promoting awareness of the career opportunities in the sector.

RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery, said: “This strategy clearly identifies the extraordinary opportunity that offshore wind offers to the UK. This document is a blueprint for green-collar job creation which, as long as its recommendations are fully implemented, will ensure that Britain reaps the once-in-a-lifetime benefits offered by our world-leading offshore wind sector”.

The Deputy Prime Minister’s reaffirmation of the Government’s belief in the crucial importance of the offshore wind follows the opening of the largest offshore wind farm in the world by the Prime Minster in July. Maria McCaffery commented: “These endorsements from the very top of Government show that Ministers get the significance of the opportunity within our grasp – as long as the right policy framework is in place. But there’s still a danger that the industrial opportunity could be wrested from us by our European competitors if the Government sends mixed messages on its commitment to renewables”.

Today’s (8-1-13) official opening of Lincs Offshore Wind Farm means that the UK’s installed capacity of wind energy (onshore and offshore) has now reached just over 10 gigawatts. This has been achieved as several projects have come to fruition in the last fortnight – 2 onshore wind farms in Scotland (Calliachar and Kildrummy), and 25 out of the 27 turbines at Teesside Offshore Wind Farm are now fully operational. Maria McCaffery said: “The UK’s wind industry is celebrating a major milestone today – we now have more than 10 gigawatts of wind energy installed onshore and offshore – enough to power five and a half million homes. Although this is a significant achievement, we must maintain momentum to reach our full potential, with wind playing an increasingly significant role in our energy mix, thereby reducing our dependence on expensive and environmentally-damaging fossil fuels”.

This article is a repost (press release 8-1-13), credit: RenewableUK,