News that official figures showed wind turbines provided more power to the UK grid than coal plants on five separate days is of no surprise, considering the tantalising hints we received during August.
But RenewableUK, the country’s leading renewable trade association, announced Monday that UK wind had exceeded coal on the 3rd, 9th, 11th, 12th, and 17th of August.
“Wind energy is taking its place as the UK’s new powerhouse, overtaking coal and nuclear as one of the most important resources we have to keep Britain’s lights on,” said RenewableUK’s Director of External Affairs, Jennifer Webber. “It continues to surpass its own records, and these figures prove that can happen at any time of year. As we approach autumn and winter, we can expect wind to maintain this strong August’s performance and provide electricity when demand is especially high.”
Wind also beat out nuclear on the 29th of August, racking up 5,805 MW compared to nuclear’s 5,379 MW — a close race, but a significant one nonetheless.
UK wind records were big news throughout August. As we reported, the first records came with the tail end of Hurricane Bertha increasing offshore wind turbine generation, only to be followed by regular August wind across the whole of the country setting two new records, one after the other. As RenewableUK notes, the first record saw wind provide 21% of the UK’s electricity needs on the 11th of August, only to then provide 22% on August 17.
“We’re seeing very high levels of generation from wind throughout August so far, proving yet again that onshore and offshore wind has become an absolutely fundamental component in this country’s energy mix,” said Webber earlier in August. “It also shows that wind is a dependable and reliable source of power in every month of year – including high summer.”
RenewableUK also noted that this was the best-performing August to date with total wind generation at 10% over the whole month — close on the heels of December 2013’s 13%. No doubt, as the UK wind industry continues to expand, we’re going to be seeing many more records falling by the wayside.
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