Total energy production from renewables is now nearly 13 times higher than coal

• Government data shows that the overall energy output from bioenergy and waste, wind, solar and hydro is now nearly 13 times higher than coal. This comes just seven years after generation from coal was greater
• Renewables share of electricity generation was at a record high in 2018 producing 111 TWh with a 33.3% share
• Renewables share of electricity generation peaked in Q4 at 37.1% a 7% increase from Q4 2017 driven by a growth in renewable generation
• Renewable generation was up 11.8% in 2018

Government data, released today in the ‘Energy Trends’ publication revealed that total energy production from renewables is now nearly 13 times higher than coal following an 11.8% increase in renewable generation. This marks a significant milestone for renewables as energy production from coal was still greater than that of renewables only seven years ago.

The data also found that renewables share of electricity generation was at a record high for the third consecutive quarter reaching 37.1% of the share in Q4 2018. This is 7% higher than Q4 2017 directly contributing to the record breaking 111TWh generated by renewables in 2018.

The data revealed that despite a 19% increase of Solar PV generation in 2018, there was only 2.5% additional capacity in Q4 2018 compared to Q4 2017. This signals a continuation of the minimal growth in Feed-in Tariffs following the announced closure of the scheme. With the Feed-in Tariff set to close this Sunday, this trend is expected to continue until the introduction of the Smart Export Guarantee (or an alternative route to market).

Commenting on the data, James Court, Policy & External Affairs Director at the Renewable Energy Association said:

“Despite a somewhat tumultuous environment, renewables are going from strength to strength and this is highlighted in the data released today. Output from renewables being almost thirteen times higher than that of coal is something that was deemed wishful thinking less than a decade ago yet renewables breaking records has become the norm.

“For this to continue, the Government must support the industry. Moving into the 2020’s we need much more clarity on actual hard policy to help households and companies to install their own clean tech, provide routes to market for large scale renewables and make the UK a world leader in the energy revolution that will see future jobs and cheaper, cleaner and smarter energy system.” 


For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Hayley Allen
External Affairs Officer
+44 (0)20 7981 0862
[email protected]

Notes to editors 

• The Energy Trends Statistical Report can be found here:
• The Energy Trends Statistical Press release can be found here:

About the Renewable Energy Association (REA)

The REA is the UK’s largest trade association for renewable energy and clean technologies with around 550 members operating across heat, transport, and power. The REA is a not-for-profit organisation that represents renewable energy and clean technology companies operating in over fourteen sectors, ranging from biogas and renewable fuels to solar and electric vehicle charging. Membership ranges from major multinationals to sole traders.

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