NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: The UK’s Record-Breaking New Energy Boom


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    Tuesday, January 09, 2018

    TODAY’S STUDY: The UK’s Record-Breaking New Energy Boom

    Energy Trends December 2017

    December 2017 (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

    Section 6 – Renewables

    Key results show:

    Renewables’ share of electricity generation was 30.0 per cent in 2017 Q3, up 4.6 percentage points on the share in 2016 Q3, with increased renewable capacity and availability (as well as lower overall generation), outweighing slightly less favourable weather conditions for renewable generation (lower wind speeds). However, this was down 0.7 percentage points on 2017 Q2’s record 30.7 per cent…

    Renewable electricity generation was 22.3 TWh in 2017 Q3, an increase of 15 per cent on the 19.3 TWh in 2016 Q3, though 11 per cent lower than the peak quarterly generation of 2017 Q1 (25.1 TWh)…

    Bioenergy generation rose by 23 per cent (1.4 TWh), the highest increase across the technologies, to 7.6 TWh, due to increased availability at Drax, following outages one year ago. Onshore wind generation increased by 20 per cent, from 4.6 TWh in 2016 Q3 to 5.6 TWh in 2017 Q3, while offshore wind increased from 3.6 TWh to 3.9 TWh, an increase of 10 per cent…

    Renewable electricity capacity was 38.9 GW at the end of 2017 Q3, a 13 per cent increase (4.4 GW) on a year earlier, and a 2.1 per cent (0.8 GW) increase on the previous quarter, with half of the annual increase coming from onshore wind, and around one quarter from offshore wind…

    In 2017 Q3, just 62 MW of capacity eligible for the Feed in Tariff scheme was installed, increasing the total to 6.2 GW, across 914,560 installations…

    Liquid biofuels consumption fell by 4.5 per cent, from 385 million litres in 2016 Q3 to 368 million litres in 2017 Q3. Bioethanol consumption increased by 0.7 per cent while biodiesel consumption decreased by 9.5 per cent. In 2017 Q3, liquid biofuels represented 3.1 per cent of petrol and diesel consumed in road transport, down from 3.2 per cent a year earlier…

    Renewables’ share of electricity generation increased from 25.4 per cent in 2016 Q3 to 30.0 per cent in 2017 Q3. However, compared to 2017 Q2, renewables’ share was 0.7 percentage points lower…The increased share on a year earlier reflects the increase in renewables generation in addition to a decrease (2.2 per cent) in total electricity generation…Total electricity generated from renewables in 2017 Q3 was 22.3 TWh, an increase of 3.0 TWh (15 per cent) compared to 2016 Q3, but 11 per cent lower than the record of 25.1 TWh in 2017 Q1…Overall electricity generation fell by 2.2 per cent (1.6 TWh) from 76.1 TWh in 2016 Q3 to 74.4 TWh in 2017 Q3. This decrease accounted for 0.6 percentage points of the 4.6 percentage point increase in the share of renewable generation…

    In 2017 Q3, generation from bioenergy1 , at 7.6 TWh, was up by 1.4 TWh (23 per cent) on a year earlier. Within this, generation from plant biomass was up 35 per cent (1.2 TWh), due to increased availability at Drax, following extensive outages a year earlier; this was offset slightly by reduced generation from landfill gas…In 2017 Q3, electricity generated from onshore wind increased by 20 per cent, from 4.6 TWh in 2016 Q3 to 5.6 TWh, with generation from offshore wind up by 10 per cent to 3.9 TWh. Large increases in capacity over the year, particularly for onshore wind, more than out-weighed reduced wind speeds during the quarter. Wind speeds in 2017 Q3, at 8.0 knots, were down 0.3 knots on 2016 Q3…Generation from solar photovoltaics increased by 4.2 per cent (0.2 TWh) to 3.9 TWh, compared to 2016 Q3, due to increased capacity…Hydro generation rose by 8.3 per cent on a year earlier to 1.2 TWh; average rainfall (in the main hydro catchment areas) fell by 9.5 per cent during the quarter; however, within this, rainfall in the more critical first two months was up 2.8 per cent (including the wettest August since 2004), following the wettest June in the last 17 years (over double that of a year earlier)…Bioenergy had the largest share of generation (34 per cent) with, 25 per cent from onshore wind, 18 per cent from each of offshore wind and solar PV, and 5.6 per cent from hydro.

    At the end of 2017 Q3, the UK’s renewable electricity capacity totalled 38.9 GW, an increase of 13 per cent (4.4 GW) on that installed at the end of 2016 Q3, and 1.8 per cent (0.7 GW) higher than the previous quarter…At the end of 2017 Q3, solar PV, at 12.6 GW, represented just over 32 per cent of all renewable capacity, the highest share of renewable technologies. This was followed by onshore wind (32 per cent), offshore wind (16 per cent) and bioenergy (15 per cent)…Compared with 2016 Q3, onshore wind capacity increased by 2.2 GW (21 per cent), and offshore wind by 1.0 GW (20 per cent). During 2017 Q3, offshore wind capacity increased by 456 MW, with the final 162 MW (of 402 MW) installed at Dudgeon and a further 282 MW installed at Race Bank (with 360 MW of the final 573 MW now operational). Additionally, the first two (of five) 6 MW turbines at the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, Hywind (in Scotland), became operational. Meanwhile, onshore wind capacity increased by 240 MW, mainly in Scotland: a further 83 MW installed at Bhlaraidh (just short of the 110 MW final capacity), 77 MW at Kilgallioch (increasing capacity to 194 MW, of the final 239 MW), and the opening of the 61.5 MW Brockloch Rig…Solar PV increased by 0.9 GW on a year ago, with over half deployed in 2017 Q1, with the closure of the Renewables Obligation (RO) to the remaining new (grace period) solar schemes on 31 March 2017. During 2017 Q3, just 63 MW was deployed, with reduced RO/FiT support levels…Although bioenergy capacity was broadly unchanged on the previous quarter, across the year, it increased by 208 MW, with almost half from plant biomass and around one quarter each from energy from waste and (mainly FiT-supported) anaerobic digestion plants.

    In 2017 Q3, onshore wind’s load factor fell by 0.6 percentage points, from 21.0 per cent in 2016 Q3 to 20.4 per cent, due to lower onshore wind speeds. Offshore wind’s load factor fell by 1.6 percentage points, from 31.9 per cent in 2016 Q3 to 30.3 per cent in 2017 Q3…Compared with 2017 Q2, onshore wind’s load factor was down by 3.0 percentage points, while offshore wind’s load factor was 2.5 percentage points lower, with wind speeds 0.4 knots lower, at 8.0 knots…Hydro’s load factor in 2017 Q3 increased by 1.5 percentage points, from 29.0 per cent in 2016 Q3 to 30.5 per cent, due to higher rainfall in the first two months of the quarter, and a seventeenrecord high rainfall in June. Compared with 2017 Q2, hydro’s load factor in 2017 Q3 was 8.6 percentage points higher, with 63 per cent more rainfall in the main hydro areas…For bioenergy, the load factor in 2017 Q3, at 59.2 per cent, was up by 8.9 percentage points on a year earlier, but down by 0.8 percentage points on 2017 Q2, with one Drax unit, the largest generator within the bioenergy category, on outage in September.

    At the end of 2017 Q3, 6,206 MW of capacity was installed and eligible for the GB Feed in Tariff (FiT) scheme4 . This was a 3.6 per cent increase on that installed at the end of 2016 Q3, but just 1.0 per cent (62 MW) up on the previous quarter…In terms of number of installations, at the end of 2017 Q3, there were over 914,000 installed and eligible for the FiT scheme, a 4.0 per cent increase on the number installed a year earlier…Solar photovoltaics (PVs) represent the majority of both installations and installed capacity on FiTs, with, respectively, 99 per cent and 80 per cent of the total. The majority of FiT-eligible PV installations are sub-4 kW retrofitted schemes, 2,454 MW (49 per cent) across 851,000 installations at the end of 2017 Q3…Renewable installations eligible for FiTs (all except MicroCHP) represented 16 per cent of all renewable installed capacity…

    In 2017 Q3, 368 million litres of liquid biofuels were consumed in transport, a fall of 4.5 per cent (17 million litres) on the total in 2016 Q3…In 2017 Q3, biodiesel accounted for 2.3 per cent of diesel, and bioethanol 4.4 per cent of motor spirit. The combined contribution of the two fuels was 3.1 per cent, 0.2 percentage points lower than 2016 Q3’s share…Bioethanol consumption increased by 0.7 per cent, from 189 million litres in 2016 Q3 to 190 million litres in 2017 Q3, while biodiesel consumption fell by 19 million litres (9.5 per cent), to 177 million litres over the same period…Biofuel consumption was split broadly equally between bioethanol and biodiesel, with bioethanol taking the slightly larger share at 52 per cent…

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