In 2023, the UK produced an estimated 90TWh of renewable energy– enough to power its 28 million homes

According to the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit’s (ECIU) Power Tracker, 90TWh (terawatt hours) of wind, hydro, and solar power was generated in the UK in 2023. This is more than enough to power all the UK’s homes.
January 9, 2024

The UK has expanded its renewable energy generation

Over 90TWh of power was generated by wind, hydro, and solar in the UK this year. It would require over 180TWh of gas to generate the same amount of power using gas power stations.[i]

The ECIU found that in each quarter of 2023, renewable generation has increased compared to 2019.[ii] On the other hand, gas generation fell by 20-30% in each quarter of the year, compared to the same quarter in 2019. Generation of biomass and combined heat and power also fell this year.[iii]

New analysis from Carbon Brief has found that 104TWh of UK electricity was generated from fossil fuels this year, which is the lowest level in 66 years.[iv] In 2023, just 33% of UK electricity came from fossil fuels.[v]

The UK Government plans to build several large wind farms to meet the growing demand for electricity

The 2022 British Energy Security Strategy set out that the UK Government hopes to deliver 50GW of offshore wind power by 2030 so that by decade’s end “we will have more than enough wind capacity to power every home in Britain”.[vi]

During the last Contracts for Difference auction in September, the Government failed to secure any offshore wind bids. However, there have been some changes made to the scheme’s parameters for the next auction in the hope that windfarm construction will be able to begin soon after.[vii]

It would be extremely significant if all of the UK’s homes were powered by domestic renewable energy 

40% of the UK’s power and 85% of its home heating comes from gas. This means that the UK has a higher gas dependency than any other country in Europe.[viii] According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), this gas dependency combined with the UK having the least efficient housing stock in western Europe means that UK households have been the worst hit by the energy crisis out of any country in western Europe.[ix] 

How does the UK’s renewable energy generation shape up to global trends?

In 2023, production from wind and solar power worldwide was about 55% higher than in 2020.[x] The International Energy Agency (IEA) projected that over 500 gigawatts (GW) of renewables generation capacity would be added in 2023, which is a new record.[xi] China has led the way and was projected to reach 230 GW of wind and solar installations this year, which is more than double the number of US and Europe installations combined.[xii]


[i] ECIU- Renewables produce enough electricity to power all the UK’s homes in 2023

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Ibid

[iv] Carbon Brief- Analysis: UK electricity from fossil fuels drops to lowest level since 1957

[v] Ibid

[vi] UK Government- British energy security strategy

[vii] ECIU- Renewables produce enough electricity to power all the UK’s homes in 2023

[viii]  ECIU- Renewables produce enough electricity to power all the UK’s homes in 2023

[ix] IMF- Surging Energy Prices in Europe in the Aftermath of the War: How to Support the Vulnerable and Speed up the Transition Away from Fossil Fuels & The Guardian- Energy crisis: UK households worst hit in western Europe, finds IMF

[x] Wood Mackenzie- Ten predictions for energy in 2024

[xi] IEA- World Energy Outlook 2023: Executive summary

[xii] Wood Mackenzie- China leads global renewables race with record-breaking 230 GW installations in 2023

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Gemma Drake
Research Analyst

Gemma recently graduated with a degree in International Development. She is currently studying for an MSc in Sustainable Urbanism, which examines urban planning and urban design through a sustainability lens. “I’m passionate about addressing sustainability challenges in a holistic and pragmatic way. Zero Carbon Academy's diverse range of services targets many of the areas that need support if we are to transition to a liveable future. I’m excited to see the impact that the Academy makes.”

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