UK renewables generated record amount of electricity in 2022, figures show

The Government published statistics on last year’s energy production, which includes the proportion generated from renewables.

UK renewables generated a record annual amount of electricity in 2022, new Government figures show.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) published statistics on last year’s electricity production, which includes the proportion and amount generated by renewables.

The Government classes wind, solar, bio energy, hydroelectric energy, heat pumps and electricity gained from burning waste such as paper, plastic and products made from wood all as renewable energy.

These forms of energy provided 135.0 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity in 2022, beating the previous record of 134.3TWh set in 2020.

This meant renewables made up 41.5% of the UK’s electricity in 2022 – up from 39.6% in 2021, according to the figures.

While this year marked the record amount of electricity generated by renewables, the record for the highest proportion remains at 42.7% in 2020, which also marked the first time they outperformed fossil fuels.

The proportion of electricity generated by fossil fuels in 2022 was also lower than renewables at 40.8% or 132.8TWh.

DESNZ’s Digest of UK Energy Statistics said the record amount generated by renewables in 2022 is due to high output from wind and solar generators, substantial increases in wind generation capacity and more favourable weather conditions.

Wind remains the UK’s biggest source of clean power, generating a record 24.7% of the UK’s electricity (80.3TWh), beating the previous record of 24.0% in 2020 (75.4TWh).

It also provided 59.5% of all renewable electricity.

Meanwhile, 13.8% of the UK’s electricity was produced by offshore wind (a record 45.0TWh) and 10.8% from onshore wind (a record 35.2TWh).

The report says offshore wind alone generated more than total renewable generation 10 years ago.

RenewableUK’s chief executive Dan McGrail said: “It’s great to see renewables setting new records across the board, generating record amounts of clean power last year, making us less dependant on expensive gas imports at the very time when fossil fuel costs rocketed up, causing an energy crisis which we’re still grappling with.

“Government and industry must pull out all the stops to increase our energy security by ensuring that vital new clean energy projects can be built faster, onshore and offshore.

“This is not the time to waver or row back on policies which accelerate the energy transition.

“On the contrary, we need more of a focus from Government on ensuring we continue to unlock investment in renewables, and that the UK secures the maximum amount of new jobs and manufacturing investment which could flow from the billions of pounds of private investment which our sector brings.”

Debate continues over whether certain forms of bio energy and electricity gain from burning waste should be considered renewable.

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