Renewable energy: Is it set to take centre stage?
The world’s increasing reliance on renewables has dominated the energy headlines in recent years, and new research from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has shown that renewable energy is generating more electricity than ever.
The share of electricity generated by renewables has increased by 1% since 2012, rising to 12.3%. However, this is still below the figure of 12.6% recorded in the final quarter of 2012.
Bioenergy is leading the way with a 35% share of electricity generation, according to the DECC figures, followed by onshore wind (32%) and offshore wind (20%).
Renewable energy capacity is also on the up, rising by 33% (4.4GW) compared to the same period in 2012, while solar power increased by 261MW to 2GW during the first quarter of 2013.
The first three months of the year also saw wind and anaerobic digestion contribute figures of 31MW and 7MW to the government’s feed-in-tariff scheme.
However, while the majority of renewables saw increases, a decrease in rainfall in Scotland of 21% meant that hydro-generation plummeted by 32%, eventually falling from 1.9TWh to 1.3TWh.
The figures from the DECC demonstrate that renewables are definitely increasing in dominance when it comes to meeting the UK energy’s needs. However, the data also raises the question of what role fossil fuels, such as those that are used to create domestic heating oil, will play in the UK’s future energy mix.
A report by Carbon Connect on the future of power from fossil fuels outlines that gas rather than coal will play a more pivotal role in a de-carbonised power sector. Figures contained within the report show ‘coal is over time twice as carbon intensive as gas power’, meaning that gas is more likely to dominate fossil fuel power stations by 2030.
With fossil fuels set to play a part in energy generation for some time to come, heating oil users should find the best heating oil suppliers for their needs.