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Renewable energy breakdown in the UK

Posted on 30 May 2019

How much renewable energy does the UK generate?

Renewable energy currently accounts for 33% of the total energy produced in the UK, with electricity generation from renewable sources having increased every year over the past decade. In 2009 electricity generated from renewable sources stood at 25,244 GWh (Gigawatt hours). Since then it has grown by over 300%, sitting at 111,089 GWh in 2018. This increase shows that nationwide we’re seeing a gradual turn towards renewable energy as a viable source of power.

Renewable energy


Where does most of the UK’s energy come from?

Gas-fired power stations are still the UK’s main source of power, with about 40% of the UK’s electricity coming from gas plants in 2018.  However, power sourced from burning coal has been on a steady decline, with figures showing a record low of just 5% of the UK’s total in 2018.

What’s the UK’s largest renewable energy source?

The largest portion of the UK’s renewable energy is sourced from wind farms, which accounted for 17% of energy produced by the UK in 2018 – 8% from offshore wind projects, and 9% from onshore wind projects.

Biomass is the second largest clean power source in the UK, accounting for 11% of total energy, while Solar farms produced 4% - boosted by record sunny weather over the spring and summer. 

At Co-op Energy, we generate a whopping 55% of our power from wind and solar energy alone!

Where in the UK generates the most clean energy?

The best area in the UK for providing clean power is Scotland, which produces more than 40% of its power from renewable sources. In fact, there are some areas of Scotland that produce more renewable energy than they can use.

Wales generates the least amount of renewable energy in the UK, accounting for 12% of their total amount.

What are the UK’s renewable energy targets?

The UK plans to phase out coal as a fuel source entirely by 2025, with recent figures showing this is on track to become a reality.

We’re also quickly approaching the deadline for the 2020 EU renewable energy agreement. In 2007 the 28 participating countries agreed to aim for a cumulative 20% of energy coming from renewables by 2020. The UK started from the low point of just over 1% in 2004 and pledged to hit 15% by 2020. We’re currently just under 10%, which is a big increase from where we were a decade ago.

Ultimately, the changes required to make a positive impact on the planet start at home. Switching to a clean energy provider is a big step toward building a more environmentally conscious world. At Co-op Energy, we’re committed to tackling climate change by investing in clean energy sources, energy efficient trading practices and offering customers helpful tips on living a low carbon life. If you’d like to see how our energy mix measures up against the UK average check out the breakdown of our energy sources.

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