Renewables provided almost one-third of the UK’s total power output in Q3 2018, a record high for that period of the year, boosted by the summer’s heatwave and high wind speeds.
That performance also lifted the total share of power from low carbon sources to 56%, another record high for Q3, however this was also aided by a reduction in total power output to 75.3TWh.
Furthermore, it was the second successive quarter that the country’s renewables output set a new record, having previously witnessed renewables’ share rise to 31.7% in Q2.
The figures were released in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s energy trends, published towards the end of last year.
That document pointed towards wind and solar generation standing 11% higher than in the corresponding period in 2017. The summer heatwave was particularly favourable for solar PV, with average daily sun hours up 26% year-on-year.
Nina Skorupska, chief executive at the Renewable Energy Association, described the feat as “fantastic news for the industry”.
“Breaking the record for renewables share of electricity twice in one year is testament to the [energy] minister’s words that the trilemma is over and cheap power is now green power,” she said.
However Skorupska had words of warning for the government, pointing towards the uncertainty surrounding further growth in the UK solar industry after the feed-in tariff closes to new applicants from 31 March.
“Although the discouraging lower level of Feed-in Tariff installations is a telling sign of what is to come after the 31st March 2019, we urge the government to work with industry to introduce an alternative mechanism and unlock a route to market as soon as possible. We need to ensure that cheap, green and technologically exciting energy and the jobs that accompany it are accessible to everyone across the UK.”