UK Renewable Energy Grows In 2012

Renewable energy is powering forward in the UK, according to the 2012 update to the Renewable Energy Roadmap published today by Energy Secretary Edward Davey.

Significant progress has been made on the rollout of renewable energy across the United Kingdom from July 2011 to July 2012, including:

  • A 27 per cent increase in overall renewable electricity generated;
  • A 40 per cent increase over the same period in renewable electricity capacity. Now over 10 per cent of all electricity generated is coming from renewables;
  • A 60 per cent increase of offshore wind capacity to 2.5 gigawatts, and;
  • A five-fold increase in solar PV capacity.

The Roadmap shows that the UK is on track to meeting our first interim target on the way to the ambitious European target to source 15% of all energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Edward Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said:

“Renewable energy is increasingly powering the UK’s grid, and the economy too.

“It’s a fantastic achievement that more than ten percent of our power now comes from renewables, given the point from which we started.

“Right now, getting new infrastructure investment into the economy is crucial to driving growth and supporting jobs across the country. I am determined that we get ahead in the global race on renewables and build on the big-money investments we’ve seen this year”.

John Hayes, Minister of State for Energy, said:

“Energy is crucial to our economic well-being, bringing in major investment and supporting jobs across the country.

“I firmly believe that a diverse energy mix is the best way to ensure our energy security. It is extremely encouraging that we have made such positive steps on renewable energy as part of that mix.”

The Roadmap also shows that in the last year the costs of many renewable technologies have fallen. For example, the cost of solar PV has fallen by 50%, with the technology now identified as a key technology in the Roadmap update.

Examples of renewable energy investment across the UK:

  • Gamesa has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Port of Leith to develop turbine assembly plant that could create up to 750 jobs.
  • AREVA announced plans to locate a factory for producing offshore wind turbines in eastern Scotland, which could create 750 jobs
  • Wood Group and Steel Engineering have been awarded a £17m contract to design and fabricate weather monitoring stations for use in an offshore wind farm off the coast of East Anglia.
  • SSE have been granted planning permission for the Viking Energy wind farm, with potential investment of around £550m, supporting 174 jobs
  • Vattenfall have been granted planning for Pen-y-Cymoedd wind farm, with potential investment needed of around £365m, supporting 300 jobs
Northern Ireland
  • DONG Energy are developing a £40m tailor-made installation harbour in Belfast Harbour for the West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farm, and with potential for future Irish Sea projects. This will create up to 450 jobs.
  • Harland and Wolff have won a contract for the Gwynt y Mor offshore wind farm, and also provided assembly for the Ormonde offshore wind farm. The Belfast shipyard is currently 75% offshore renewables-based.
North East England
  • In September 2012 OGN received planning permission to build a facility in Newcastle to manufacture offshore wind turbine foundations. It is estimated that this will create 700 jobs during operations and a further 100 during the construction. A further 200 jobs could be created in the regional supply chain.
  • Tata Steel opened its new £2m Offshore Processing Centre in Hartlepool to produce sections of pipe that will be used to make foundations for offshore wind turbines.
  • In April 2012 JDR Cables completed a £30 million upgrade to its manufacturing plant in Hartlepool. This created 130 new jobs.
  • Reef Subsea Power & Umbilical wins a major contract with the Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm, worth approximately £40-million.
Yorkshire & Humber
  • Banks Renewables will invest £21.9m at Penny Hill Wind Farm. This will support 30 jobs.
  • Consent has been given to Vireol to build a £200m biorefinery, supporting up to 1000 construction jobs and up to 90 when in operation.
North West
  • Camell Laird have begun work on a £5m contract from RWE’s Gwynt y Môr windfarm that will create up to 600 jobs in next decade.
  • Siemens opened its new Renewable Energy Engineering Centre in Manchester which will create 340 jobs.
West Midlands
  • Forkers Ltd won £9.2m in contracts from RES for onshore wind farm design & construction.
  • Geothermal International received a £12m investment for international expansion.
  • Morgan Sindall won £25m contract to design and build a pioneering new biogas energy scheme for Yorkshire Water.
East Midlands
  • ECO2 started the construction of a £100m straw fuelled plant in Sleaford. This will create 30 jobs in operation, 50 in fuel supply and it will require local straw contracts estimated at £6m per annum.
South West
  • TGC Renewables are constructing a 6.2MW solar farm in Devon.
  • Helius is spending £300 million developing the Avonmouth biomass plant. This will created 40 jobs, with the potential for 450 during construction.
East England
  • Seajacks new £3 million HQ in Great Yarmouth will create 50 extra jobs.
  • Planning permission was granted for Dudgeon (560MW) and Centrica’s Race Bank (580MW); which could represent around £3bn of investment.
    • EAOW has announced that it has invested £6.65m in the East Anglia region (over last 2 years) as it develops their project (East Anglia).
South East and London
  • Viridor have begun construction of a £205m energy from waste plant, that will create 40 permanent jobs

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