Wind Energy Generation Increases As Coal And Gas Decrease

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New figured published by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have shown that renewable energy is becoming more and more a player in the wider scope of national energy production, with wind energy generation up 40% and coal and gas production and generation both decreasing over the 2013 period when compared to 2012.

According to the DECC (PDF), coal production was 25% lower than in 2012, and generators’ demand was lower by 9%, while natural gas production was lower by 9%, its lowest level of production since 1984.

“At a time when we needed it most, wind delivered,” said RenewableUK’s Director of External Affairs Jennifer Webber, speaking about 2013’s fourth quarter. “Onshore wind generation was up 64% compared to the previous year, and wind as a whole delivered over 10% of the UK’s total power needs across the quarter, proving it’s a force to be reckoned with.

Webber refers to wind statistics which showed onshore wind generation up 64% compared to the same quarter in 2012, while offshore wind increased 42% in the same quarter. As a result, 2013’Q4 saw coal’s share of the electricity mix drop 7% and natural gas mirroring its yearly drop record.

“Wind energy’s generation was the equivalent of power for 7.86 million homes for the full quarter,” said Webber. “By developing our wind resource we ease our reliance on costly imported foreign fuels and reduce the amount of polluting CO2 in our atmosphere. In addition by using our natural resources we’re creating thousands of jobs, like the ones Siemens announced just this week.”

Siemens announced in conjunction with the UK’s Associated British Ports that they would be investing  £310m in UK wind turbine factories, creating 1,000 jobs across two locations — the Green Port project in Hull, and a second facility in Paull in East Yorkshire.

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12 thoughts on “Wind Energy Generation Increases As Coal And Gas Decrease

  • Two more years like this and there will be a “good bye” to the Hickey Point C project.

  • in UK wind blows everywhere.
    Why not install a 200 or 300 percent Wind production in the UK.
    And export the electric energy.
    and make a lot of money.

    • Export where? To another country with over capacity?

      • To countries that have a lot of solar and not such great wind resources. Cheaper for them to purchase UK wind than to store their solar.

        To countries that have excellent hydro and pump-up potential. Let them run on UK wind and then sell their stuff when the wind is down.

        To countries that want cheap energy for large scale manufacturing. Recently an aluminum plant closed down in the Netherlands due to a lack of affordable electricity.

        • Lack of cheap electricity certainly could have been the reason Dutch shutdown, I don’t know any of the details, but there is an oversupply of aluminium in the world at the moment and an aluminium refinery is shutting down in Australia because of low aluminium prices despite the plant’s sweetheart deal for electricity making it extremely cheap by world standards. And it’s a good thing too that it’s shutting down as it was powered by the filthiest electricity in developed world. Those Victorians are dirty, dirty people… when it comes to generating electrity.

          • Aldel was getting squeezed by lowering aluminum prices. They tried to get access to cheaper German electricity but weren’t able to hook up. They closed.
            It’s kind of an important story because of the totally unsupported claims that industry is leaving Germany because of high electricity prices. Not a single company has been identified as a “flee-er”.

            One company has increased some production in the US due to lower NG prices, they use NG in their process.

          • Thanks for that link, Bob. Interesting thing is that with wholesale prices dropping in Australia thanks to renewable energy and improved efficiency, huge industrial users might actually be able to negotiate lower electricity prices despite households paying the nose and several other orifices for grid electricity. It kind of depends on how their subsidies with state own power companies are holding up. Australian aluminium smelters can be hugely subsidised. One smelter was receiving subsidies around something like $137,000 per worker. Now that’s a pricey work for the dole scheme.

          • I love your writings, Ronald. Up here in the chilly North I’ve been going through withdrawals since you haven’t posted much that I know of in several months. Can it be that nothing kooky has been happening Down Under?
            I do have a minor nit to pick – sometimes you get it wrong about basic economics. I saw another example or two in your excellent, funny Aussie articles, and there’s one above. Economists cringe when people throw around words like “oversupply,” by which I assume you mean market surplus. Unless something artificial is forcing prices above equilibrium, that’s the wrong word, even if the aluminium industry sees it as such. For everyone else (Al consumers), it’s a happy state of affairs, and just another from an infinite number of market outcomes.
            By the way, I love your “Free Riders On The Storm” song about Albania.
            Or is it Algeria? Angola? Armenia? Oh, no, must be Antigua.

          • I’ve been busy working on something over the past couple of months and I can’t tell you what it was. That’s not a joke. I’m actually not allowed to tell you. And if I did tell you, I’d have to politely ask you not to tell anyone else. Suffice to say that whatever I have been doing it certainly didn’t involve sneaking into a supervillian lair while wearing a tuxedo in order to discover what happened to a certain missing airliner. That is something I definitely did not do. To think that would even be possible is absurd. For one thing, my tux is at my tailor’s having a bullet hole repaired, so it simply couldn’t have been me.

            But today was the last day of my assignment, and after I finish a more personal project involving with the alluring Nao Takashita who is half Japanese, half German and all woman, I may find the time to write some more articles.

            And Peter, Yanks earn points every time they try to pronounce the word aluminium. It’s so cute!

          • Dude, that was YOU?

            I had almost gotten Noir to spill the beans, and you bomb every toilet on the island?

            CSIS is going to be passing along a diplomatic protest.

            But, Nao Takeshita huh?

            Please tell me you got the superconductor recipe…

            Oh, P.S.

            Noir’s last words were “the lizard and robot are always trading”.

            So now we know who the moles are…

  • The 40% increase in UK wind generation in 2013 over 2012 came from only a 23% increase in capacity. Some of this no doubt reflects natural variation in wind speed. But you have to think that a gain so large also reflects an improvement in operations: better maintenance, retrofits, better short-term weather forecasting and control. That would be bankable for the future.

    The DECC PDF has a lengthy and well-timed technical appendix on the European gas market and its resiliency, for real wonks.

    • Better operations can not explain the difference imo. What you can win is a few percent perhaps. Modern, computer controlled turbines are very good already at catching the wind and have a >98% availability.

      I think it is due to the weather. Remember this past winter in the UK: constant depressions and accompanying strong winds (and lots and lots and lots of rain).

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