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BEIS: more than a quarter of UK electricity was generated by renewables in Q1

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A new report published by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in recent days suggests that renewable energy generated more than 26 per cent of the UK’s electricity in the first quarter (Q1) of 2017.

According to Government data, wind, solar, hydro and other methods of green energy production generated a record-breaking 24.8 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity between January and March.

In total, the amount generated from renewables powered 26.6 per cent of the UK’s electricity needs, while low-carbon sources powered almost half (45.6 per cent), the report says.

It adds that the charge was led by onshore wind – with production levels up by 20 per cent over figures recorded the previous year, mainly due to increased capacity.

Power generated from solar energy also soared in Q1 – up 16 per cent year-on-year, but hydro power fell slightly due to low rainfall levels throughout the beginning of the year.

Meanwhile, the levels of energy generated from coal fell from 15.8 per cent to just 11.3 per cent in Q1.

Reacting to the new data, Emma Pinchbeck, executive director of RenewableUK, said: “Renewable energy is a mainstream technology, which is cheaper and more advanced than ever.

“It’s great to see that onshore wind has set a new record, producing more electricity than ever at a time of year when we need it most.”

She added: “Our innovative industries have matured to the point where we now reliably provide over 25 per cent of the UK with clean, sustainable power.”