Liverpool generating hundreds of gigawatts of renewable energy per hour - here’s how much your council area contributes

Sewage gas, animal bio mass and anaerobic digestion are used to provide green electricity alongside more recognised renewable sources such as wind farms and solar power.

<p>The Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm in the Mersey Estuary. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images</p>

The Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm in the Mersey Estuary. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Amid vital United Nations COP26 climate change talks in Glasgow, figures show 2020 saw a significant rise in green energy across the UK.

That boost was mirrored across the majority of the Liverpool City Region (LCR) with figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) showing hundreds of gigawatts per hour (GWh) of renewable energy produced last year.

However, two of the six boroughs were actually among just a few dozen areas throughout the UK to see a fall in renewable energy generated in 2020.

Wirral proved to be the powerhouse of the region with the highest percentage increase of renewable electricity at 18% and also the biggest overall volume at 310 GWh - producing almost half of the LCR total output of 656 GWh.

Offshore wind farms generated 95% of Wirral’s total, while less well known methods such as sewage gas, animal bio mass and anaerobic digestion were used in other councils across the region.

Halton saw the largest percentage drop, producing 5% less energy than the 207 GWh produced in 2020.

While Knowsley had the lowest overall output in the region at around 12 GWh, despite showing a year-on-year increase of 9%.

Scroll down to see how your council area produced green energy and how it ranked among its Liverpool peers.

Renewable energy figures for the UK

Across the UK, 134,600 GWh of renewable energy was generated in 2020 – a 13% rise on the year before, and above the 9% increase from 2018 to 2019.

Renewables outstripped fossil fuels for the first time last year, representing 43% of total generation – compared to 37% in 2019.

Friends of the Earth said this is good for both the planet and the economy, as renewables are now the cheapest power source.

More work to be done eradicating fossil fuels

Mike Childs, head of policy at environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth, said: “Far too much of our energy still comes from climate-wrecking coal, gas and oil, and this has to change.

“The Government must rapidly accelerate our use of renewables to end our reliance on dirty fossil fuels.”

Renewable energy in Liverpool City Region

Here we take a look at the amount of green electricity produced by each council area and how is was produced.

Halton

Halton was one of just a few dozen areas throughout the UK to see a fall in renewable energy generated last year.

Figures from the BEIS show 196 GWh (196,402 megawatts) of renewable electricity were generated in 2020.

This was 5% less energy than the 207 GWh produced the year before, but 106% more than in 2014 – the earliest year of data available.

The biggest producer of energy in Halton last year was plant biomass, which generated 150 GWh – 76% of the total.

This was followed by municipal solid waste, which most commonly involves the burning of waste (15%), and animal biomass, which is electricity generated using animal-based fuels – which generated a further nine GWh (4%).

Knowsley

Data shows around 12 GWh (12,140 megawatts) of renewable electricity were generated in Knowsley in 2020.

This was 9% more energy than the 11 GWh produced the year before, and 85% more than the amount produced in 2014 – the earliest year of data available.

The biggest producer of energy in Knowsley last year was solar power, which generated 11 GWh – 88% of the total.

This was followed by onshore wind farms (12%).

Liverpool

Figures from the BEIS show around 36 GWh (36,380 MW) of renewable electricity were generated in Liverpool in 2020.

This was 15% more energy than the 32 GWh produced the year before, and 89% more than the amount produced in 2014.

The biggest producer of energy in Liverpool last year was solar power, which generated 16 GWh – 44% of the total.

This was followed by sewage gas, which is created by combining sewage with bacteria (37%), and anaerobic digestion, which is the breakdown of organic material by micro-organisms to produce biogas – which generated a further three GWh (8%).

Sefton

Data shows around 67 GWh (67,357 MW) of renewable electricity were generated in Sefton last year.

This was 13% more energy than the 60 GWh produced the year before, and 81% more than the amount produced in 2014 – the earliest year of data available.

The biggest producer of energy in Sefton last year was onshore wind farms, which generated 33 GWh – 49% of the total.

This was followed by plant biomass (34%), and solar power – which generated a further nine GWh (13%).

St Helens

Less renewable electricity was produced in St Helens last year, with around 35 GWh (35,165 MW) generated in 2020.

This was 4% less energy than the 37 GWh produced the year before, and 24% less than in 2014 – the earliest year of data available.

It was one of just a few dozen areas throughout the UK to see a fall in renewable energy generated last year.

The biggest producer of energy in St Helens last year was landfill gas, created by the decomposition of organic materials in a landfill, which generated 21 GWh – 61% of the total.

This was followed by solar power (21%), and onshore wind farms – which generated a further three GWh (8%).

Wirral

Around 310 GWh ( 309,683 MW) of renewable energy were produced in Wirral last year.

This was 18% more energy than the 262 GWh produced the year before, and slightly more than the amount produced in 2014.

The biggest producer of energy in Wirral last year was offshore wind farms, which generated 293 GWh – 95% of the total.

This was followed by solar power (3%), and landfill gas, which is created by the decomposition of organic materials in a landfill – which generated a further six GWh (2%).

Renewable energy types in the UK

Of the nine different types of energy in the UK figures, offshore wind grew at the fastest pace and is now responsible for a greater share of energy (30%) than any other producer – followed by onshore wind (26%) and biomass and waste (24%).

Climate think tank Ember said huge falls in costs means the growth in offshore wind power is set to go "parabolic" in the coming months.

Phil MacDonald, chief operating officer at the organisation, added: "But the Government is still missing the opportunity of cheap onshore wind, and not doing enough to explore earlier-stage technologies like geothermal and tidal.

"To ensure a speedy phase-out of expensive imported fossil gas, there needs to be a stronger commitment to support innovative energy storage."

Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said wind power is a "British success story" and a key part of the Government’s aim to decarbonise the UK’s whole electricity system by 2035.

He added: "This year alone we’ve attracted five new offshore wind factories to the UK, bringing jobs and investment to our industrial heartlands.

“We are applying this successful model to nuclear, hydrogen, solar, and other renewables so they become the obvious and affordable choice, helping to end our reliance on expensive, volatile natural gas.”