England generates 54,962 GWh of renewable energy
Renewables are a public policy success story – a combination of public and private investment has led to innovation and technological progress, new industries and rapidly falling costs.
It is difficult to exaggerate the scale and speed of the shift in power generation, from around 50 large generation stations to a decentralised system in which three quarters of a million householders, landowners and businesses have become energy generators.
Biomass (electricity and large scale heat) and offshore wind are the major contributors to England’s renewable generation, providing 28 percent and 25 percent of generation respectively. Solar PV is the technology with the greatest installed capacity in England at 8.7 GW.
Rather than accelerating progress, the government cuts have taken the UK out of the global fast lane of renewables and the impacts can already be seen on the ground. 2 GW of solar PV was installed in 2015/16, two-thirds of the year before. Onshore wind projects deployed were less than half of the peak 2012/13 rate. ■