The amount of electricity generated by onshore wind fell last year after the lowest average wind speeds this century, according to new Government statistics.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said the amount of electricity generated by renewables rose slightly to 7.4 per cent in 2010.
However it is still well short of the EU legally binding target that requires 15 per cent of all energy, including transport and heat to be from renewables by 2020. This would mean about 30 per cent of electricity would need to be from renewables.
Onshore wind as a percentage was 1.9 per cent of all electricity in 2010, down from 2.0 per cent in 2009. This represents a six per cent fall in the amount of energy generated from onshore wind compared to last year.
A DECC spokesman blamed the weather but insisted the UK is on track to meet targets, in large part thanks to a massive increase in the amount of energy generated by offshore wind.
“Even against a backdrop of the lowest average wind speeds this century in 2010 and the lowest rainfall since 2003, overall consumption of renewable energy in 2010 has risen significantly on the previous year,” he said.
But Dr John Constable, Director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, a UK charity publishing data on the energy sector, said wind farms are failing to generate enough energy, despite £5bn of subsidies since 2002.
“REF’s calculations suggest that the annual subsidies will rise to around £6bn a year in 2020, with the programme costing a total of £100bn by 2030. These are heavy burdens, and threaten to exhaust consumer patience,” he added.