The U.K. has invested over £42 billion in renewables and nuclear energy since 2010 with more to come until 2020, according to a new report by the Department of Energy & Climate Change.
The investments in energy worth of £42 billion, of which is 39.6 for renewables and 2.5 for nuclear, increased the renewable's share in total energy mix in U.K.'s electricity generation to 18 percent in 2014 from 7 percent in 2010.
While all the renewable sources received funding, solar photovoltaics, PV, took the highest total with £11.4 billion of estimated investment between 2010 and 2014.
In 2014, solar PV provided around 1.7 percent of the U.K.’s total electricity generation and by 2020 it is forecasted to account for around 3 to 5 percent.
Offshore wind received £9.5 billion of investment in the same period. The offhore wind made up around 3.7 percent of the total electricity generation in 2014 and may reach up to 12 percent by 2020.
The U.K. is the global leader in offshore wind, home to over 20 offshore wind farms with over 4 gigawatts of capacity.
Biomass and bioenergy received the third largest investment of £8.8 billion from 2010 to 2014. The U.K. has an installed biomass capacity of around 4.4 gigawatts and provided around 6.1 percent of electricity in 2014. By 2020 it could account for around up to 11 percent of the electricity generation, the report predicts.
The department also expressed intention to support over 2 gigawatts of biomass conversion capacity in the U.K. by 2020, greater than any other individual country in the EU.
Onshore wind attracted £7.9 billion of investment, the fourth largest within the £39.6 billion. By 2020, onshore wind is to provide around 10 percent of the electricity generation, up from 5.5 percent.
About £300 million of investment was given to hydropower. Its share within the electricity generation is forecast to increase to 2 percent by 2020. The report points out that, studies in Scotland, England and Wales indicate a potential of up to 2.5 gigawatts of small scale hydro power remaining to be exploited.
According to the report, the U.K. is ranked as the world’s second most attractive place to invest in marine energy with theoretical potential for up to 27 gigawatts of wave; 32 gigawatts of tidal stream; 45 gigawatts of tidal barrages; and 14 gigawatts of tidal lagoons. Marine energy technologies attracted £100 million of investment since 2010.
Apart from renewables, nuclear energy also received investment of £2.5 billion, with further development planned for at least 11 nuclear reactors on five different sites, the Department states.
By Zeynep Beyza Karabay