Renewable energy can be divided into the generation of renewable electricity and the generation of renewable heat.

From the mid-1990s renewable energy began to contribute to the electricity generated in the United Kingdom.

Renewable energy contributions are set to meet the UK's 15% target reduction in total energy consumption by 2020, in accordance with the 2009 EU Renewable Directive.

Interest in renewable energy in the UK has increased in recent years due to new UK targets for reductions in carbon emissions and the promotion of renewable electricity power generation through commercial incentives such as feed in tariffs (FITs) and the promotion of renewable heat through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Historically hydroelectric schemes were the largest producers of renewable electricity in the UK, but these have now been surpassed by wind power schemes, biomass and solar energy for which the UK has large potential resources.