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UK says renewables growth on track to meet EU targets

The UK has seen big increases in wind and solar installation over the last 18 months, leaving it on track to meet its EU renewables targets, say energy officials.

UK offshore wind capacity grew 60% to 2.5GW between July 2011 and July 2012 while onshore capacity increased by 24% to 5.3GW, says an update to the country’s Renewable Energy Roadmap.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) also highlights big capacity increases and cost falls for solar PV, which is added to the UK’s list of “key technologies” in the update.

The one-year update is the first to be published since the Roadmap was published in July 2011.

DECC says total renewable power generation grew 27% during the period in question, while the contribution of all renewables to UK electricity supply ran at more than 10%.

DECC's most recent figures showed renewables delivering 11.7% of power production in Q3 2012.

The growth leaves the country on track to meet its 15% renewable energy share target under EU agreements, says the department.

Industry body RenewableUK says: “This is a clear vote of confidence from the Government. The update is spot on – it highlights the sector’s dynamic growth and the healthy pipeline of wind, wave and tidal projects to come. It’s right to note that costs are falling steadily, so renewables will continue to offer even better value for money for all of us.”

RenewableUK notes the update’s confidence that the UK can deliver 30% of power from renewable sources by 2020.