Renewables generate almost a third of UK electricity

A government statement has revealed that renewable energy has reached a new record by generating 29.8% of the UK’s total electricity in the second quarter, edging out the previous record of 26.9% from the first quarter.

Wind power featured strongly, but increased capacity also enabled a 30% increase in generation from biodegradable waste, while solar PV generation is also on the rise thanks to growth in the first quarter.

At the end of June, the country’s total renewable generation capacity was 38 GW, which was 13% higher than a year earlier.

Looking specifically at wind power, the technology contributed the most electricity at 13.2% of total generation. Of this, 6 TWh (7.9%) was generated by onshore windfarms – a 50% increase – while a further 4 TWh (5.3%) was generated by offshore windfarms – an increase of 22%.

Onshore wind has shown particularly strong growth this year, and many claim it is now the cheapest option for a new power plant. Its strong performance will likely lead to renewed calls for the government to allow onshore projects to bid in the next set of competitive auctions.

Offshore wind also came in cheaper than expected in the most recent auctions, and projects based on the technology continue to push boundaries to improve competitiveness. Giant offshore wind turbines are now being used out at sea, while floating turbines enable windfarms to be located in deeper waters. In the meantime, lubricant manufacturers like ExxonMobil, whose products can be sourced through Mobil UK distributors, are continuously developing new products to meet the needs of increased scale and harsh environments.