Northampton generating tens of thousands of megawatts of renewable energy per hour, figures show

Since 2014, the figure has risen by 55 percent

By Patrick Jack, Data Reporter
Friday, 5th November 2021, 4:00 pm

Tens of thousands of megawatts per hour of renewable energy were produced in Northampton last year, figures show.

Environmental groups have urged the Government to expand on the success of a significant rise in green energy across the UK, amid vital UN COP26 climate talks in Glasgow.

Figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show 45,195 megawatts per hour (around 45 gigawatts) of renewable electricity were generated in Northampton in 2020.

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Renewable energy is cheaper and better for the environment. (File picture).

This was one percent more energy than the 45 GWh produced the year before, and 55 percent more than the amount produced in 2014 – the earliest year of data available.

Across the UK, 134,600 GWh of renewable energy was generated in 2020 – a 13 percent rise on the year before, and above the 9% increase from 2018 to 2019.

Renewables outstripped fossil fuels for the first time last year, representing 43 percent of total generation – compared to 37 percent in 2019.

Friends of the Earth said this is good for both the planet and the economy, as renewables are now the cheapest power source.

Mike Childs, head of policy at the environmental campaign group, said: “However, far too much of our energy still comes from climate-wrecking coal, gas and oil, and this has to change.

“The Government must rapidly accelerate our use of renewables to end our reliance on dirty fossil fuels.”

Of the nine different types of energy in the figures, offshore wind grew at the fastest pace and is now responsible for a greater share of energy (30 percent) than any other producer – followed by onshore wind (26 percent) and biomass and waste (24 percent).

Climate think tank Ember said huge falls in costs means the growth in offshore wind power is set to go 'parabolic' in the coming months.

Phil MacDonald, chief operating officer at the organisation, added: "But the Government is still missing the opportunity of cheap onshore wind, and not doing enough to explore earlier-stage technologies like geothermal and tidal.

"To ensure a speedy phase-out of expensive imported fossil gas, there needs to be a stronger commitment to support innovative energy storage."

The biggest producer of energy in Northampton last year was sewage gas, created by combining sewage with bacteria, which generated 32 GWh – 71 percent of the total.

This was followed by solar power (29 percent), and onshore wind farms – which generated a further 31 MWh zero percent).

Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said wind power is a "British success story" and a key part of the Government's aim to decarbonise the UK’s whole electricity system by 2035.

He added: "This year alone we’ve attracted five new offshore wind factories to the UK, bringing jobs and investment to our industrial heartlands.

“We are applying this successful model to nuclear, hydrogen, solar, and other renewables so they become the obvious and affordable choice, helping to end our reliance on expensive, volatile natural gas.”