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Renewables industry booms despite harsh subsidy cuts

The UK’s renewable energy sector has grown significantly in the last year despite a reduction in subsidies.


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Renewable electricity in 2015 made up 24.7 per cent of the overall electricity generated in the UK
Renewable electricity in 2015 made up 24.7 per cent of the overall electricity generated in the UK

Renewable electricity in 2015 made up 24.7 per cent of the overall electricity generated in the UK, a record-breaking achievement and up 28.8 per cent from 2014 when renewables generated 19.1 per cent of the country’s electricity.

 

An area of strong growth was in solar PV, where total electricity generation reached 7.6 TWh, an increase of 86 per cent from 2014.

 

Scotland generated the equivalent of more than half its electricity needs from renewable sources in 2015, surpassing the 50 per cent target set by Ministers.

Based on the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s latest consumption figures from 2014, renewables now generate the equivalent of 57 per cent of Scotland’s power needs.

 

It means Scotland is now more than halfway towards its target of producing the equivalent of 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

Jenny Hogan, director of policy for Scottish Renewables said: “This is another important milestone for our industry and shows renewables are now a mainstream part of our power sector.

“There is still a huge amount of potential for future growth, if the industry is given the right backing by government.”

 

Lauren Cook, solar policy analyst for UK Solar, a sector group of the Renewable Energy Association (REA), said the UK’s 62 per cent increase in the number of solar PV deployments since February 2015 was ‘extraordinary’ and represented the success that was possible ’when a collaborative and supportive government policy is coupled with an innovative and driven industry’.

 

“This increase took place under the old policy framework,” she said.

 

“The Government cuts that kicked in this January are beginning to bite- solar PV deployment from January to February 2016 was 92 per cent lower than between January to February 2015.

 

"We’re looking to work constructively with Government to remove the many barriers to solar PV deployment that have been erected since the General Election. We are frustrated that these barriers, including the severe cuts to the Feed-in Tariff and proposed tax policy changes, will slow the uptake of solar, and ultimately delay the time it takes to reach cost-parity."

 


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