On November 28 winds generated a record 32.2% of the country’s electricity,more than any other single source of electricity.
Strong blasts of wind can be a curse to people on chilly winter days, but they can also be a boon to electricity generation. And so it happened that particularly blowy weather last Wednesday sent turbines at wind farms around the United Kingdom spinning furiously.
On November 28 winds generated a record 32.2% of the country’s electricity, which accounted for more than any other single source of electricity, according to Renewable UK. Gas which provided 23.5%, nuclear supplied 17.9%, coal 8.7% and biomass 8% with imports (7.8%) and hydro (1.7%) accounting for the rest.
“Britain’s onshore and offshore wind farms hit a new high of 14.9 gigawatts (GW) between 6 and 6.30pm on Wednesday evening,” the trade group said in a statement. The new record beat the previous one, of 14.5 GW, which was set three weeks prior on November 9.
The dominance of wind energy continued on Thursday with wind accounting for 32% of Britain’s domestic electricity, followed by gas at 25%, nuclear18.1% and coal 9.1%.
For the first time this year renewable electricity capacity in Britain overtook the capacity provided by fossil fuel-fired generators, including gas and coal. It’s largely thanks to Orsted’s Walney Extension, the world’s largest offshore wind farm that began operating off the northwest coast of England in September.
“It’s great to see British wind power setting new records at one of the coldest, darkest, wettest times of the year, providing clean energy for people as they came home, switched everything on, turned up the power and cooked dinner,” said Emma Pinchbeck, executive director of Renewable UK:
“As well as tackling climate change, wind is good for everyone who has to pay an electricity bill, as the cost of new offshore wind has fallen spectacularly so it’s now cheaper than new gas and nuclear projects, and onshore wind is the cheapest power source of all,” Pinchbeck added.