LONDON, June 29 (UPI) -- Energy data released by the British government indicate the country is leading the way in the push for a clean energy future, an energy minister said.
Statistics released by the British Department of Energy and Climate Change indicate renewable energy in 2011 accounted for 3.8 percent of the country's total energy consumption compared with 3.2 percent in 2010.
Offshore wind energy generation during the first quarter of 2012, meanwhile, increased by 51 percent, while hydropower increased by 43 percent and bioenergy grew by 21 percent.
British Energy Minister Charles Hendry, in a statement, said the statistics indicate the country is "powering forward" in the move to advance a low-carbon economy.
"Today's statistics show a clear increase on the first quarter of last year across all renewables -- with rises in wind, hydro, solar and bioenergy generation," he said.
In terms of conventional fuels, oil production declined by 13 percent and natural gas production declined by 14.1 percent during the first quarter.
The British economy this year returned to recession. DECC said first quarter energy consumption declined by 2.3 percent.