United Kingdom: Climate Progress Indicators

Renewable energy sources are not optimally being used yet; carbon emissions are rising but at a lower rate than in 2019


More and more UK climate change data is becoming publicly available online; a lot of the sources however are still dating back to 2020. I’m quite confident this year more up to date data will be made public. Initiatives from for example The Climate Change Committee and The National Statistics department from the UK government gives more and more insight in the current (energy trends) and progress to NET ZERO.

Since the urgency of moving away from fossil fuel and cutting carbon emissions is very clear and will contribute to reach NET ZERO, I have discussed the following indicators below.

Renewable energy generation (GWh) & Renewable energy cumulative installed capacity (MW)

The first quarter of 2021 is used as the baseline for both indicators. I used both indicators in parallel because it then also says something about the capacity used. For the renewable energy generation, we see that there is a decline of about 9% in GWh generated. When you also compare this with the rise in the capacity installed of about 8% you can conclude that the renewable energy sources are not optimally being used yet. This could have to do with (for example) the difficulty of predicting wind power and or storage capacity for renewable energy sources.


Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (MtCO2e)

The data used is from 2020 and 2021 in order to make a comparison. During this period there was a rise in CO2 emissions of about 5%. This sounds bad but according to the data the totals are about 5% lower than 2019. Reasons for this are attributed to COVID-19.

Measurement category Data Source Baseline measurement First measurement date First measurement
Renewable energy generation (GWh) Link 41015 (first quarter 2020) First quarter 2022 38202
Renewable energy cumulative installed capacity (MW) Link 47292 (first quarter 2020) First quarter 2022 51319
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (MtCO2e) Link 405 (2020) 2021 424.5

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard United Kingdom Country Manager Derk Hordijk


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