Wind generates a third of UK electricity
Blustery weather conditions saw onshore and offshore wind farms generate over a third of Britain’s electricity last week, figures from RenewableUK have revealed.
The data shows that 35.6% of electricity was provided by wind between Friday 8 March and Thursday 14 March, compared with 31.2% from gas, 21.3% by nuclear, and 6.7% from biomass.
Coal accounted for just 2.6% of generation, with offshore wind alone responsible for 21.4% – more than any other power source.
This comes after the government signed a deal with the offshore wind industry to grow capacity from 7,899MW to over 30,000MW by 2030, supporting 27,000 jobs.
RenewableUK deputy chief executive, Emma Pinchbeck, said: “We’ve had a very blustery week, and that’s good news because wind has outstripped every other power source.
“It’s also interesting to see that offshore wind outperformed nuclear – showing the way our modern energy mix is changing, with low-cost wind energy becoming the backbone of our clean energy system.”
Electric Insights, a website which provides live electricity data, noted that power sector carbon emissions last week were lower than usual for this time of year as a result of the higher clean wind energy.
And it is hoped that last week’s figures will continue, with offshore wind set to power more than 30% of electricity in a decade thanks to the recent Offshore Wind Sector Deal.
This will be the first time that more electricity comes from renewables than fossil fuels in the UK, with 70% predicted to be from low-carbon sources by 2030.
Industry is set to invest £350m, with offshore wind exports to areas like Europe, Japan and the US expected to increase fivefold to £2.6bn per year by the end of the next decade.
“It’s further proof that wind is playing a central role in keeping Britain powered up,” Pinchbeck continued.
“The deal will see the UK’s offshore wind supply chain generating billions every year in exports, as well as providing more goods and services for offshore wind projects in UK waters.”
Image credit: iStock
Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM