Corporate report

Second progress report on the promotion and use of energy from renewable sources for the United Kingdom

This document reports on progress against the UK’s 2011/2012 interim renewable energy target and describes the range of policy and financial support measures in place to further increase renewable deployment up to 2020.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Second progress report on the promotion and use of energy from renewable sources for the United Kingdom

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Member States are required under Article 22 of the Renewable Energy Directive to submit progress reports to the European Commission every two years on performance against their interim renewable energy targets. The UK’s first progress report was submitted in 2011 and focused on developments in 2009 and 2010.

This second report covers performance against the 2011/2012 interim target. It follows a template provided by the Commission and pulls together a range of statistical data for 2011 and 2012, including data on renewable energy generation and consumption broken down between renewable electricity, heat and transport sectors, biomass use, land use, commodity prices and greenhouse gas savings. It also provides brief updates on the various policy measures and financial incentives in place to drive and unlock barriers to renewable deployment.

The report shows that:

  • The UK is making very good progress. In 2012 we exceeded the amount of renewable energy required by our 2011/12 interim target, reaching 4.2% of total energy compared with a target of 4.04%. This is up from 3.8% in 2011 and when averaged across 2011 and 2012 - as required under the Renewable Energy Directive methodology - we achieved 4.0%, which is within the margin of error around the estimate

  • DECC’s latest estimates suggest that the UK is currently on course to meet its next interim renewable energy target of 5.4% for 2013/2014

  • Renewable electricity generation increased by 23% from 32.7 TWh in 2011 to around 40.2 TWh in 2012, and renewable heat by 7% from 13. 9 TWh to 14.8TWh over the same period. This strong growth is continuing, and the renewable share of electricity reached a record 15.5% in the second quarter of 2013.

  • Renewable electricity capacity increased by 27% from 12.2GW to 15.5GW between the end of 2011 and 2012 with strong growth in the onshore and offshore wind and solar sectors. Again this upward trend is continuing, and we reached 19.5GW installed renewable electricity capacity by the end of the second quarter of 2013.

  • The proportion of renewable energy used in transport increased from 2.7% in 2011 to 3.7% in 2012. This increase was a result of the introduction of double counting from December 2011 which provided further support for the most sustainable biofuels derived from wastes. As these fuels count twice towards the Renewable Energy Directive target for transport and under the UK Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), suppliers were able to meet their obligations with less fuel and therefore the absolute amount of transport biofuels consumed in the UK reduced from 11.3TWh in 2011 to 10.3 TWh in 2012.

  • With recent government announcements confirming the long term strike prices for renewable electricity under the Electricity Market Reform, increases to some tariffs under the Renewable Heat Incentive, and work to unlock barriers, we have put in place a robust suite of financial and other measures from which to continue to ramp up deployment to 2020.

Published 17 January 2014