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British renewable energy use grows

June 27, 2013 at 7:51 AM

LONDON, June 27 (UPI) -- Renewable energy use grew by 10 percent during the first quarter of 2013 while natural gas use declined, the British government said Thursday.

The British Department of Energy and Climate Change released statistics Thursday on energy consumption.

The DECC said colder temperatures in the region resulted in higher energy consumption during the first quarter of 2013.

The department said coal accounted for the bulk of the electricity generated. Natural gas accounted for 26 percent of the electricity generated, which is the lowest share in the last 15 years. The government said the decline in natural gas use was attributed to higher costs.

The findings follow a release from the British Geological Survey saying there may be as much as 1.3 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas locked on shale deposits in Britain.

The British government this year lifted a ban on hydraulic fracturing, known also as fracking, after enacting safety measures in response to small earthquakes attributed to natural gas operations in Lancashire.

The DECC said the amount of energy generated from renewable resources grew by 10 percent compared to last year, with offshore wind accounting for the lion's share of the growth.

The British government is mulling renewable energy and climate goals for 2030.

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