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What is the renewables scene doing? An overview of the latest DUKES energy digest

by Thomas Holdaway, Project Engineer, Catch Energy

The headline figures from this years Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) again show great promise for the UK renewable industry. Further progress has been made against the UK Government’s Renewable Energy Directive of 15% of demand being fulfilled by renewable sources by 2020. As of the end of 2017, this figure stood at 10.2%, up 1% from 2016.

Overall electricity generation from renewable sources is up 19% from 2016 with wind power driving this rise. Often overlooked is the effect that weather and climate can have on these statistics. 2017 saw exceptionally high wind speeds which made 2017 a record year for wind generation.



Solar PV

For the first time in recent years, solar PV lost its status as the leading renewable technology, further evidence of a significant slow down in growth of solar PV installation and the tough times facing solar installers. Onshore wind now accounts for 31.7% of installed renewable capacity, perhaps a surprisingly high figure given the often negative press surrounding new installations due to local opposition.

Other renewables

Lower than average rainfall was more than offset by an increase in capacity of hydro capacity to yield an overall 10% increase in capacity.
Renewable heat again saw relatively steady growth in 3.6%. Biodegradable energy from waste was the fastest growing of all renewable heat technologies at 53%, however this still accounts for a small percentage of overall renewable heat (1.8%). Heating homes whilst reducing CO2 emissions is still a much overlooked issue. There is considerable debate as to whether renewable energy is the answer to this problem given the majority of homes in the UK are gas-heated. There is growing interest in using hydrogen which when burned emits only water vapour and is far more efficient in combustion than natural gas.


The overall picture for renewables is bright, with the fall in costs of solar panels accelerating, it is inevitable that solar PV will once again become the largest renewable by installed capacity. Battery storage, similarly falling in price, can make up the cuts in the once generous Feed in Tariff when combined with solar. The average customer on an economy 7 day/night tariff can save 70% off their energy bills with a combined PV and battery storage solution. Contact Catch Energy today to take advantage of this opportunity.





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