Wind Generated 35% Of British Electricity Last Week

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Wind energy accounted for 35% of Great Britain’s electricity generation for the week running Friday 8 March to Thursday 14 March, beating out all other generation sources, and also saw offshore wind beat out nuclear energy.

RenewableUK, the country’s renewable energy trade body representing wind and hydro technologies, published figures last Friday from independent analysts Aurora Energy Research which showed that wind energy provided 35.6% of Great Britain’s electricity for the 7 days starting Friday 8 March. (Note: Great Britain, as distinct from the United Kingdom, as these figures do not include Ireland.) Further, offshore wind provided 21.4% of Great Britain’s electricity, beating out nuclear energy which provided 21.3%.

Other energy sources working last week were natural gas with 31.2%, biomass with 6.7%, coal with 2.6%, hydroelectricity with 1.8%, and 0.8% from other sources.

“We’ve had a very blustery week, and that’s good news because wind has outstripped every other power source,” said RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Emma Pinchbeck. “It’s further proof that wind is playing a central role in keeping Britain powered up at a chilly time of the year.

“It’s also interesting to see that offshore wind outperformed nuclear this week – showing the way our modern energy mix is changing, with low-cost wind energy becoming the backbone of our clean energy system.

“This comes just after last week’s announcement of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, which will see our industry grow to support 27,000 highly-skilled jobs by 2030, and 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.”

Western Europe has recently been experiencing blustery and windy conditions which has had an impact on renewable energy generation for more than just Britain. Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE has recently shown that the country’s electricity generation has been increasingly powered by renewable energy — led by wind energy — with renewable energy accounting for 64.9%, 67.6%, and 72.4% of the country’s power generation over the past three weeks.

Weekly renewable shares of electricity production in Germany in 2019

The strong week of wind generation also serves as a timely reminder of the importance of wind energy in Britain’s energy mix as it comes less than a fortnight after the UK Government announced its long-awaited Offshore Wind Sector Deal intended to increase offshore wind capacity to 30 gigawatts (GW), or 30% of the country’s total generating capacity, by 2030.

“This new Sector Deal will drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution that is powering homes and businesses across the UK, bringing investment into coastal communities and ensuring we maintain our position as global leaders in this growing sector,” said Claire Perry, Energy & Clean Growth Minister earlier this month. “By 2030 a third of our electricity will come from offshore wind, generating thousands of high-quality jobs across the UK, a strong UK supply chain, and a fivefold increase in exports. This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action.”

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Joshua S Hill

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