One fifth of the UK's electricity was produced by renewable means last year
According to a report published by DECC last week, electricity generated by renewable means produced almost one fifth of the UK’s demand last year. That’s 19% of our electricity which hasn’t required us to buy gas from Qatar, coal from Poland or bung more lifelong subsidies at the French nuclear industry. We’ll get that electricity for the next couple of decades without doing much more than listening to the wind blow and enjoying the sun shining.
DECC’s weighty report can be viewed here, you may wish to cut straight to chapter 5.
But, before we start getting too excited, it was revealed last week that Germany achieved a new record for renewable generation on 25 July. 78% of the country’s electricity needs were met from the turbines in windy north of the country and the sun shining on the vast solar installations in Bavaria.
As electricity storage becomes cheaper and better and solar continues to become more efficient (Panasonic announced a panel with almost 25% efficiency last month) the potential for an industrialised country such as Germany to shun coal and gas completely will be realised. Countries which don’t embrace this - Spain springs readily to mind as its politicians side with the old generators to restrict solar - will become even less competitive as they continue to have to buy imported energy.