Renewable Electricity Generation Up Quarter as Gas-Fired Power Dips; EXTRA WIND FARM CAPACITY BOOSTING ENERGY FIGURES
Byline: CHRIS KELSEY firstname.lastname@example.org
THE amount of electricity generated by renewables in Wales increased by a quarter between 2010 and 2011, newly released figures show.
Within this the largest single increase came in the wind, wave and solar sector which saw an increase of nearly 50%, from 1,000 GWh (gigawatt hours) to 1,447 GWh.
The increase is due to a combination of increased wind farm capacity and the high uptake of solar pv installations as a result of the Government's feed-in tariff rules.
Meanwhile high gas prices saw a 'dash from gas' with its share of electricity generation in Wales falling by more than 10 percentage points, from 49.8% in 2010 to 39.1% last year - a record low in the period since the report was first published in 2003.
Altogether renewables accounted for 7.9% of Wales' electricity generation in 2011, up from 5% the year before, the latest annual Energy Trends report published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change reveals.
Across the UK renewables' share of electricity generation increased to 11.7% from 9.1% between 2011 and 2012. Offshore wind generation increased by 54%, while onshore wind generation increased by 38%.
Overall, renewable generation was up 25% compared to the same quarter in 2011.
Llywelyn Rhys, deputy director of RenewableUK Cymru, the industry body for the wind, wave and tidal sectors, said: "British homes and businesses are now getting more than 10% of their electricity from renewables on a regular basis, as the figures in the latest Energy Trends Report show.
"Wind is generating the lion's share of our clean electricity, and is set to become even more important in our energy mix for the rest of this decade."
He added: "Renewables are expected to generate more of our electricity than nuclear power by 2016, with wind becoming the biggest contributor of electricity to the UK apart from natural gas in 2010.
"This will help to stabilise the price of energy for all of us, providing a secure alternative to importing expensive fossil fuels, whose price we cannot control.
"Wind is working and delivering - we're all reaping the benefits, which are growing year after year."
The fall in the use of gas for electricity generation was shadowed in England and Scotland, although not by such a large percentage.
In both Wales and England there was an increase in the use of coal in electricity generation, from 18.4% to 22.6% in the case of Wales.
The decline in the use of gas is being attributed to high gas prices during the period covered.
There was an increase in nuclear power's share of generation also, from 17.2% to 19.7% in Wales.
Wales is a net exporter of electricity to England but its transfers fell to a record low in 2011 following several years of decline. …