Bioenergy, Hydropower

England Leads 2009 UK RE Generation Despite Higher Capacity in Scotland

England generated more renewable energy in 2009 than any other country of the UK despite have less installed capacity than neighbouring Scotland, according to a report published Thursday by the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change.

With 11,993.2 GWh generated from 3,076.5 MWe of installed renewable energy capacity England was some 12% ahead of Scotland which, in the same period, generated 10,744.3 GWh from its 3,820.4 MWe of installed capacity.

Scotland had the capacity to generate 24% more electricity from renewable sources in 2009 but the anomaly, explained the DECC, was largely due to the country’s considerable, but seasonal hydropower generation capacity.

Hydropower capacity in Scotland at the end of 2009 accounted for 89% of the UK’s combined hydro total. At the same time it was responsible for 45% of Scotland’s own renewable energy generation mix.

Total UK-wide generated electricity from renewable energy in 2009 stood at 25,221.9 GWh from an installed capacity of 8,030.6 MWe, said the report. Meanwhile the country’s renewable energy generation growth rate between 2003 and 2009 was 138%, it added. The report excluded solar PV and micro wind from its totals, stating that “at present, they are estimated on a UK-wide basis that cannot readily be broken down into regional components”.

In total, England had 939 sites generating electricity from renewable energy sources at the end of 2009, compared with 436 in Scotland, 143 in Wales and 130 in Northern Ireland.

Wind and wave power combined accounted the highest percentage of UK-wide RE generation in 2009 at 9,826 GWh. A further 17.9 GWh of micro wind generation took the total to 9,303.9 GWh, according to the report.

Hydropower-generated electricity was next highest closing the year at 5,216.6 GWh, followed by landfill gas at 4,952.2 GWh, it added.

In 2009, Scotland had 48% of the UK’s installed wind generation capacity and contributed 49% of the UK’s wind output. Wales followed with 12% capacity and 10% of generation. Eastern England was next with 8% of capacity but only 5% of output. Northwestern England had 8% capacity but provided 10% of the generated total.

All UK countries saw an increase in renewable energy generation capacity over the year, said the report, with the vast majority of the new capacity coming from the wind sector. Scotland’s RE generation capacity increased by 482 MWe, eastern England by 192 MWe, Wales by 179 MWe, Northern Ireland by 103 MWe, northeastern England by 78 MWe, and southeastern England by 73 MWe. Of the increases wind accounted for 407 MWe in Scotland, 171MWe in eastern England, 157 MWe in Wales, 95 MWe in Northern Ireland, 53 MWe in northeastern England, and 60 MWe in southeastern England.

The report also measured economic activity in each country or region in terms of Gross Value Added. It found that Scotland not only has the largest generating capacity from renewables, but that it is the largest in terms of capacity per unit of GVA and generation per unit of GVA. Using those two measures England in 2009 was below the UK average while Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as Scotland, were above it.