British Government statistics for the third quarter of last year showed that renewables contributed their biggest ever percentage of national electricity generation.
Figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change showed the level at 8.6% with the contribution from wind up by 37% compared to same quarter in 2009.
RenewableUK, the country's leading renewable energy trade association, welcomed the news. Alex Murley, Head of Technical Affairs, said: “The results have two important implications: we are now within reach of 10% of electricity from renewables, having had around 2% a decade ago. The renewables industry has managed to deliver a five-fold increase in actual units delivered to consumers since 2001.
“Secondly, this gives us confidence that, with the right policy support, we can deliver on our 2020 targets. There are no technological barriers to having a third of our electricity from renewables in the next 10 years - it is perfectly doable.”
Industry statistics show that there are currently 8,617 megawatts (MW) of wind farm capacity either in construction or with planning permits around the UK scheduled to go on stream within the next 24 to 36 months. Together with the 5,194 MW of operational capacity this will push the total contribution from all renewables above that of nuclear, according to the organisation.