UK Renewable Energy Market Report 2022
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“More ambitious government targets for renewables deployment and proposals to simplify the planning process for many kinds of renewables are boosting investor confidence. In order to accommodate high levels of…

UK Renewable Energy Market Report 2022

£ 1,495 (Excl.Tax)


The UK Renewable Energy Market Report identifies consumers’ awareness and attitudes towards renewable energy, key renewable energy technologies and the UK’s progression towards a cleaner energy system. This report covers the UK renewable energy market size, market forecast, market segmentation and renewable energy market trends in the UK.  


Current Landscape of the UK Renewable Energy Market

In response to rising global energy prices, pushed even higher by the conflict in Ukraine, the UK government has pledged to expand home-grown power and accelerate the renewable energy transition to boost long-term energy independence.

However, the UK renewable energy market is challenged by the intermittency of renewables as their output varies with available sunlight, wind speeds and wave activity. In order to accommodate high levels of renewables, demand will need to become increasingly flexible, which will require improvements in energy system flexibility from storage, interconnection and demand-side response.


UK Renewable Energy Market Share and Key Industry Trends

While net-zero targets and the wider energy crisis help drive the upscaling of the UK renewable energy market, ongoing global supply challenges may hamper deployment in the short term.

Investment in renewable energy generation capacity is to continue at pace, with offshore wind as the strongest growth sector. Mintel anticipates that Solar PV will reinforce the renewable energy market growth. Solar PV capacity is also set for a strong expansion, with roof-top and ground-mount market segments in growth mode.

  • UK renewable energy market size: In Q1 2022, renewable energy accounted for 45.5% of electricity generation.
  • UK renewable energy market share: In 2022, onshore wind accounted for 28% of UK renewable energy.
  • Total renewable electricity generation in the UK rose by 62% between 2016 and 2020, reaching almost 135 TWh.


Future Trends in the UK Renewable Energy Market

More ambitious government targets for renewables deployment and proposals to simplify the planning process for many renewables are boosting investor confidence. Offshore wind is set to remain the most buoyant sector in the UK renewable energy market over the current decade, reflected in five offshore wind projects totalling almost 7GW, securing CfDs at record low prices in the latest allocation round.

To discover more about the UK Renewable Energy Market Report 2022, read our UK Energy Industry Market Report 2022or take a look at our extensive Sustainability Market Research.


Quickly Understand

  • UK renewable energy market developments and drivers across the key renewable energy technologies.
  • How the government’s energy policy is impacting UK renewable energy market deployment.
  • The renewable energy market growth and the UK’s progress to move to a cleaner energy system.
  • The future potential energy mix and demand.
  • Explores UK renewable energy market share and UK renewable energy market size.


Covered in this Report

Companies: Lightsource BP, Solar Energy UK, Anesco, Scottish Power, The Crown Estate, Offshore Wind Industry Council, Elgin Energy, WindEurope, Biogen, Tamar Energy, First Hydro Company, SSE, Vattenfall Wind Power, Vestas-Celtic Wind Technology.
Types of Energy:
Biogas, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Tidal Power, Wind Power, Photovoltaic Cells (PV),  Landfill Gas, Sewage Gas, Wave Power.


Expert Analysis from a UK Renewable Energy Specialist

This report, written by Claudia Preedy, a leading analyst in the energy sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the UK renewable energy market and add expert context to the numbers.

In order to accommodate high levels of renewables, more flexible electricity consumption needs to be incentivised. This will require improvements in system flexibility from storage, interconnection and demand-side response (eg through time-of-use electricity tariffs). Market changes must support innovation and reduce barriers to participation for new market entrants to deliver a more flexible energy system that ensures security of supply at least cost for all.”

Claudia Preedy
Senior B2B analyst


Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Market context
    • Covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • The five-year outlook for UK renewable energy
      • Figure 1: Renewable energy outlook, 2022-27
    • The market
    • Shift towards renewables generation, but renewables intermittency causes annual fluctuations
      • Figure 2: UK renewable penetration of electricity generation, 2017-21
    • UK renewables installed capacity dominated by wind
      • Figure 3: UK renewable energy market shares, by installed capacity, 2016 and 2022
    • UK to accelerate renewables deployment to boost long-term energy independence and reach net zero
    • Offshore wind prices continue to fall ahead of expectations
    • Strong solar farms pipeline
    • Companies and brands
    • Investment in UK offshore wind sector is being ramped up
    • Major UK solar developers seek acquisition and partnerships to accelerate growth
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Hydrogen expected to have a central role in helping reach net zero by 2050
    • Energy storage to play key role in transition to clean electricity supply system
  4. UK Electricity Generation

    • Overview
      • Figure 4: Analysis of electricity generation the UK, by type of fuel used, 2017-21
      • Figure 5: Proportional importance of fuel source in UK electricity generation, 2017 and 2021
      • Figure 6: Proportional importance of fuel source in UK electricity generation, 2022
  5. UK Renewables Generation

    • Electricity generation from renewable sources
    • Shift towards renewables generation, but renewables intermittency causes annual fluctuations
      • Figure 7: Renewable electricity generation in the UK, 2017-22
      • Figure 8: Share of renewable energy installed capacity by technology, %, 2016 and 2022
    • Renewables deployment has slowed since 2015
      • Figure 9: Annual renewable capacity additions in the UK, 2010-21
    • UK renewables sector offers strong investment and deployment opportunities
  6. Wind Generation

    • Overview
      • Figure 10: UK onshore and offshore wind energy generation capacity, MW and %, 2016 and 2022
    • Onshore wind
    • Onshore wind re-included in CfD auctions
    • Onshore wind is one of the cheapest forms of electricity generation
    • Offshore wind
    • The UK is the world leader in offshore wind
    • UK government aims to reach 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030
    • Offshore wind prices continue to fall ahead of expectations
    • Offshore wind farms and turbine sizes continue to get bigger
    • Floating offshore wind market set for take off
    • Wind generation capacity and generation
      • Figure 11: UK wind energy capacity, 2017-22
      • Figure 12: UK wind energy generation, 2017-22
      • Figure 13: UK wind generation development pipeline, 2022
  7. Shoreline Wave/Tidal Generation

    • Government rejects plan for £1.3bn Swansea Bay tidal lagoon
    • Fourth allocation round of the CfD scheme sees the first-ever tidal stream auction winners
    • Just 22MW of wave energy capacity installed to date
      • Figure 14: UK wave energy capacity and generation, 2017-22
      • Figure 15: UK tidal barrage and tidal stream capacity in development pipeline, 2022
  8. Photovoltaic Generation

    • UK installed solar PV capacity reaches 14GW, according to official statistics
      • Figure 16: Photovoltaic installations in the UK, 2016-22
      • Figure 17: Photovoltaic installations in the UK, 2013-21
    • But actual deployment is higher as government data fails to capture subsidy-free schemes
    • Ground-mounted solar PV market
    • Outlook for UK solar panels market is bright
      • Figure 18: UK photovoltaic development pipeline, 2022
  9. Hydro Generation

      • Figure 19: UK hydro energy capacity, 2018-22
      • Figure 20: UK hydroelectricity generation, 2016-21
      • Figure 21: UK hydroelectricity development pipeline, 2022
    • Pumped storage hydroelectricity
      • Figure 22: UK pumped storage hydroelectricity pipeline, 2022
  10. Bioenergy Electricity Generation

    • Recent government policy changes affecting the bioenergy sector
    • Trade association calls on government to commit to 16% of electricity from bioenergy by 2032
    • Landfill gas
    • Sewage sludge digestion
    • Energy from waste
    • Advanced conversion technology
    • Animal biomass
    • Anaerobic digestion
    • Biomass and co-firing
    • Government to support biomass with CSS
    • Bioenergy installed capacity and generation
      • Figure 23: UK bioenergy installed capacity, 2018-22
      • Figure 24: UK bioenergy and waste generation energy capacity, as of March 2022
      • Figure 25: UK bioenergy generation, 2018-22
      • Figure 26: UK bioenergy development pipeline, 2022
  11. Market Forecast

      • Figure 27: Renewable energy outlook, 2022-27
    • Decarbonisation of the UK energy system
      • Figure 28: Low-carbon power generation capacity targets, 2022
    • Most of the investment required to achieve net zero to be delivered by the private sector
    • Significant investment in whole-system infrastructure required
    • UK energy transition will push up electricity demand
    • A more flexible electricity system will be required to offset the intermittency impact of renewables and ensure security of supply
    • Increased flexibility to be provided by storage, interconnection and demand-side response
    • Batteries set to be a cornerstone of a smarter and more flexible system
    • Hydrogen expected to have a central role in helping reach net zero by 2050
    • Offshore wind sector starting to explore green hydrogen
    • Renewable electricity capacity development pipeline
      • Figure 29: Renewable energy projects in pipeline, by technology, 2022
      • Figure 30: Forecast renewable electricity generation, 2020-40 (TWh)
  12. Future Energy Mix and Demand

    • Future energy demand under National Grid ESO’s Future Energy Scenarios
      • Figure 31: Annual electricity demand in Great Britain, 2021-50
      • Figure 32: Annual electricity demand in Great Britain, 2021-50
    • Achieving net zero requires the government to proceed with policies at pace and implement measures now
    • Future potential energy mix
      • Figure 33: Projected installed electricity generation capacity (including storage and interconnectors), by scenario, 2021, 2030 and 2050
  13. Energy Policy and Legislative Environment

    • Government commitment to reach net zero by 2050
    • Carbon budgets and Net Zero Strategy
    • UK to accelerate home-grown power to boost long-term energy independence
    • Labour’s policy on renewable energy
    • Support mechanisms and policies to decarbonise electricity
    • Renewables Obligation
    • Feed-in Tariffs
    • Carbon Price Floor
    • Contracts for Difference
    • Capacity Market
    • The Renewable Heat Incentive
  14. Industry Structure

    • Overview
      • Figure 34: UK turnover of renewable energy industry, 2015-20
    • Labour and skills shortage presents key challenge for solar PV contracting industry
      • Figure 35: Employment and number of companies active across UK solar PV supply chain, 2014-20
      • Figure 36: UK solar PV sector turnover, 2016-20
    • Key players in solar PV sector
    • Offshore wind industry set for strong growth
      • Figure 37: UK offshore wind sector turnover, 2016-20
    • Offshore wind ownership dominated by utility-style owners
    • Supportive government policies required to revive onshore wind industry
      • Figure 38: UK onshore wind sector turnover, 2016-20
      • Figure 39: Employment across UK onshore wind supply chain, 2014-19
  15. Company Profiles

    • Biogen (UK)
    • Biogen (UK) acquired by Ancala Bioenergy in 2017
    • Biogen acquires Tamar Energy, creating one of the largest independent AD operators in the UK
    • Financial performance
      • Figure 40: Financial analysis of Biogen (UK), 2018-22 (£000 and %)
    • First Hydro Company
      • Figure 41: Financial analysis of First Hydro Company, 2017-21 (£000 and %)
    • Lightsource BP Renewable Energy Investment
    • Lightsource Labs – the company’s in-house digital innovations arm
    • Strategy
    • Financial performance
      • Figure 42: Financial analysis of Lightsource BP Renewable Energy Investments, 2017-20
    • ScottishPower Renewables
    • ScottishPower becomes major player in solar market through project acquisitions
    • Financial performance
      • Figure 43: Financial analysis of ScottishPower Renewables, 2017-21 (£m and %)
    • SSE
    • SSE sells retail unit to OVO Energy
    • SSE intensifies its strategic focus on its core low-carbon electricity business
    • Renewables at core of SSE Group’s business strategy
    • Net Zero Acceleration Programme
    • Financial performance
      • Figure 44: Financial analysis of SSE, 2018-22
      • Figure 45: SSE revenue segmental analysis, 2021
    • Vattenfall Wind Power
    • Company outlook and strategy
    • Financial performance
      • Figure 46: Financial analysis of Vattenfall Wind Power, 2016-20
    • Vestas-Celtic Wind Technology
    • Company performance
      • Figure 47: Financial analysis of Vestas-Celtic Wind Technology, 2016-20
  16. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Methodology
  17. Further Sources and Contacts

    • Trade associations
    • Trade magazines
    • Trade events

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


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