RenewableUK, the trade body representing Britain’s wind, wave and tidal energy sector has welcomed figures today which show the percentage of electricity on the grid from wind power increased by 31.1% last year compared to 2008.
In 2009 wind turbines in the UK produced 9,304Gwh of electricity or enough energy to power more than 2 million homes, the equivalent of around two thirds of households in Greater London.
The statistics, published by DECC as part of The Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) 2010, also reveal that between 2008 and 2009 the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources overall grew by 20% from 5.6% to 6.7% and the proportion of all UK electricity produced by wind power now stands at 2.5%.
Maria McCaffery MBE, RenewableUK Chief Executive said: "It is good news to see the role of renewables in meeting our energy needs is rising and in particular the significant contribution from the wind energy industry. These are promising statistics but we must go further and act faster. With one third of our power supply needing to be replaced by 2015 we cannot delay in greater deployment of clean energy technologies. If we are to avoid an energy gap and secure our supplies for the future, we must maintain momentum to deliver a robust renewable energy industry that will lead to the creation of thousands of green jobs."
She added "Meeting our 2020 renewable energy targets will be largely dependent on Britain unlocking its offshore wind potential. The UK is capable of delivering 49 GW of electricity from this sector over the next decade; more than half our current energy needs. However, achieving this goal will require strong political will and a policy framework that ensures Britain does not lose out to the rest of the world in this burgeoning industry."
RenewableUK has broadly welcomed this week’s Annual Energy Statement but is urging Government to raise its target of 12 GW of offshore wind power installed by 2020 to over 20 GW.
RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with 620 corporate members, RenewableUK is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK.
Wind power has been the world’s fastest growing renewable energy source for the last seven years, and this trend is expected to continue with falling costs of wind energy and the urgent international need to tackle CO2 emissions to prevent climate change.
DUKES statistics published last month for the first quarter of 2010 found that wind, hydro and other renewables produced 6.5% less electricity compared with the same period the year before. This drop was a result of a 44% fall in hydro caused by low rainfall.