UK wind electricity output has skyrocketed in the past week, breaking 10 gigawatts for the first time ever on Saturday before climbing further to peak at 13.5 gigawatts on Wednesday.
British electrical power generation company Drax Group runs an independent tracker, Drax Electric Insights, which gathers together the disparate energy sources generating electricity in the UK and analyzes the supply, demand, price, and environmental impacts.
The latest big news from monitoring the Drax Electric Insights tracker was the role that wind energy played in the UK electricity mix over the past week — as can be seen below. Specifically, wind energy output topped 10 gigawatts (GW) on Saturday and continued to climb to top out at 13.5 GW, or 29% of the country’s supply, in the middle of the day on Wednesday.
🥁 Drumroll … the actual Great #Britain 🇬🇧 electricity generation numbers are in from yesterday and #wind power hit a new record of 13.6 GW between 12.45-1.15pm: https://t.co/KoBVas9IxE
Prev. record: 12.4 GW on 6/12/17@NGControlRoom pic.twitter.com/ENOoYOI2Om
— Drax (@Draxnews) January 18, 2018
The UK currently boasts 38.9 GW worth of renewable energy, with 12.5 GW worth of onshore wind and another 6.1 GW of offshore wind. In fact, the UK now generates twice as much electricity from wind as it does from coal.
Record-breaking days of output were therefore only really a matter of time, and blustery weather this week has helped push electricity generation to record levels.
“Breaking short-term output records on top of monthly and annual figures clearly shows that wind is now a major part of the UK electricity mix, and will continue to be in the future,” said Dr Jonathan Marshall, Energy Analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU). “Claims that the grid would be unable to handle 5, 10, or 20% wind power have been shown to be well wide of the mark.”
“Possessing some of the windiest regions in Europe, the UK is poised to lead its peers in wind generation. Analysis has shown a UK resource of nearly 500 TWh per year , more than a third more than current annual power consumption. The Government has shown its willingness to install new capacity offshore, but is lagging on onshore wind as other countries move ahead, and as its official advisors call for barriers preventing the cheapest form of electricity generation to be removed.”