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The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has unveiled that the total electricity generated from renewables was up 10 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same period the previous year.

In the first quarter of 2013, hydro generation fell by 32 per cent on same period in 2012 from 1.9 TWh to 1.3 TWh with rainfall in "main hydro areas" down by 21 percent on a year earlier and including the driest March in Scotland for sixty years.

Electricity generated from onshore wind increased by 13 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 from 3.6 TWh in 2012Q1 to 4.0 TWh, while generation from offshore wind increased by 68 per cent on a year earlier, from 1.5 TWh to 2.5 TWh.

DECC increases were primarily due to much increased capacity on a year earlier, with wind speeds only slightly lower.

Average wind speeds for 2013 Q1 were 8.5 knots, 0.5 knots lower than a year earlier, and 0.2 knots higher than the last quarter of 2012.

In 2013 Q1, generation from bioenergy increased by 3.5 per cent on a year earlier, from 4.1 TWh to 4.2 TWh.

Generation from plant biomass increased by 69 per cent, from 1.1 TWh to 1.8 TWh, mainly due to Tilbury biomass station being fully operational in the current quarter.

However, generation from co-firing fell by 80 per cent, from 0.7 TWh to 0.1 TWh, due to coal stations burning much less biomass with coal.

In 2013 Q1, bioenergy had the largest share of generation (34 per cent) with 32 per cent from onshore wind and 20 per cent from offshore wind.

At the end of the first quarter of 2013, the UK's renewable electricity capacity totalled 17.6 GW, an increase of 13 per cent (2.1 GW) on that installed at the end of the forth 2012 Q4, and 33 per cent (4.4 GW) on that installed a year earlier.

Of the 2.1 GW increase during the first quarter of this year almost half (900 MW) came from the conversion of Ironbridge power station to dedicated biomass, with 386 MW due to the continued expansion of the London Array and Lincs offshore wind farms.

A further 513 MW came from the opening of a number of new onshore wind farms, the largest being Fallago Rig (144 MW).

Solar Photovoltaics (PV) capacity increased by 261 MW during 2013 Q1, due to the continued high uptake of the GB Feed in Tariff scheme, as well as 29 MW of new capacity accredited on the Renewables Obligation.

Solar PV capacity stood at 2.0 GW at the end of the first quarter of 2013 Q1, increasing its share to 11 per cent of all renewables capacity.

At the end of 2013 Q1, onshore wind had the highest share of capacity (36 per cent) followed by bioenergy (24 per cent) and offshore wind (19 per cent).

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