Increased PV capacity encourages 20% rise in renewable electricity

The generation of renewable electricity in the UK has increased by a fifth spurred on by dramatic increases in solar PV capacity, according to figures published in the Renewable Energy Association’s annual REview.

The report reveals that a total of 64,404Gwh of electricity was generated from renewable sources in 2014, compared to 53,667GWh in 2013.

The report also notes that the rise in electricity generation has matched an increase in jobs in the renewable sector, growing by 9% since 2013. The association said that regions such as the East Midlands, North West, London and Scotland had exhibited stronger than average job growth in the period too.

“2014 has been another strong year for investment in the renewable energy sector, bringing the total investment since 2010 to £40 billion,” said Ronan O’Regan, director, renewables and clean tech at PwC.

He continued: ”The majority of investment during 2014 was in renewable electricity generation, attracting almost £10 billion of capital, with solar the big winner, representing £4.5 billion of investment.”

However, the REA is concerned about the outcome of a number of imminent renewable decisions that will have to be made by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Most notably the Feed-in Tariff review and the possible extension of the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Dr Nina Skorupska, chief executive of the REA, explained: “We cannot be complacent. Our analysis shows that, where regulatory and financial support for renewable energy has been stable and sufficient, there has been considerable success, but where there has not, technologies have either stalled or gone backwards.”

The REA notes that the UK still needs a 16% growth rate to meet its EU obligation of generating 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 – one of the highest for any EU member state.

Skorupska said: “In light of the growth rate for renewables needed for the UK to meet its 2020 targets, it is vital that the new government demonstrates the necessary leadership and ambition to enable our industry to thrives.”

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This article has been adapted from an article published by Solar Power Portal.