World-beating electricity output achieved by the UK offshore wind industry is not yet capable of transforming the country’s broader renewable energy performance, according to data published by the EU statistical agency, Eurostat.
The UK has been identified as one of the EU’s poorest performers in a comparison of the proportion of renewable energy consumed in each of the region’s 27 member states. In 2011, just 3.8% of the UK’s gross final energy consumption derived from renewable sources, with only Malta and Luxembourg achieving a lower proportion. The UK’s legally-binding 2020 target for renewable energy consumption is 15%.
Much stronger performance was achieved by Denmark (23.1%), Germany (12.3%) and France (11.5%). Sweden achieved the highest proportion of renewable energy consumption, at 46.8%.
Eurostat’s data inadvertently serve to illustrate the extent to which the UK’s offshore wind industry represents an exception to the country’s general under-performance in renewable energy consumption. In 2012, offshore wind in UK waters generated 7.5TWh of electricity, a total that far outstripped any other nation’s output. This figure accounted for just under 2.1% of the country’s total electricity generation and 18% of renewables generation.