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Renewables are now at the centre of UK energy policy, providing a very different environment from that in the past and it is crucial that Government have reliable information to monitor the impact of these wide-ranging measures.
In order to meet this need, two activities are being undertaken:
- RESTATS, the Renewable Energy STATisticS database, contains performance statistics on all relevant renewable energy sources in the United Kingdom.
- REPD, the Renewable Energy Planning Database, tracks the progress of projects from inception, through planning, construction and operational phases
Renewable Energy STATisticS (RESTATS)
The collection of renewable energy performance statistics began in 1989 via a project carried out by ETSU (now Ricardo-AEA) on behalf of the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Statistical Office of the European Communities (SOEC, also referred to as Eurostat).
The project has gathered nearly 25 years of data on electricity and heat generated from the following renewable energy sources:
- Biofuels, including the combustion of biomass and wastes, co-firing, gas from landfill sites and digestion processes
- Hydro-electricity, both large and small-scale
- Wave and Tidal power
- Wind turbines and wind-farms - onshore and offshore
- Solar - active solar heating and photovoltaics
- Geothermal aquifers
- UK production and consumption of liquid biofuels for transport (biodiesel and bioethanol)
- Heat Pumps
The results are published annually in the Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES); data are also provided to SOEC (European perspective), the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the World Energy Council (World perspectives).
The RESTATS project:
- Provides accurate up-to-date energy statistics from UK renewable energy sources
- Holds information on electricity, heat and liquid biofuels for transport
- Provides a means of monitoring progress against the UK target of 15% of energy from renewables by 2020 introduced in the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive
- Provides data that are used to assess the UK’s performance from a European and World-wide perspective
- Is a source of credible data for Government and industry
- Shows the effects of legislative changes; eg changes to clinical incineration practices
- Is key to assessing the success of the renewable energy technologies and progress to targets.
Renewable Energy Planning Database (REPD)
In parallel and complimenting RESTATS, the REPD project tracks the progress of new projects from inception, through planning, construction and operational stages. These data are used to:
- Make forecasts about when targets for electricity generation from renewable energy sources might be achieved as failure to do so would result in financial penalties to the UK
- Help identify where problems may be occurring in policy, incentive mechanisms and in the planning process
- Provide good quality information to Government to assist in evidence-based policy making.