Wind power blasts ahead in generation figures

Wind power production has soared in the last three months while fossil fuels have fallen, according to new figures from the government.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) released figures for the past three months of 2011 last week.

New figures reveal rocketing production and availability of wind and hydro and to a lesser extend nuclear, due to weather changes and increased capacity.

Wind was up by 131.1%, an increase of a 1.6TWh, thanks, according to DECC, on higher wind speeds in May and June compared to the same period last year.

Hydro power was also a big winner as it increased by 96.8% (0.4TWh) due to the wet summer's increased rainfall.

Nuclear was also up 38.3% (or 4.8TWh) but this figure is skewed due to the fact Sizewell B was offline in the same period for 2010.

Falls were also revealed in gas, of 21.1%, which DECC say reflect 'higher prices' as consumers made sure they rationed their use.

Renewable energy trade association RenewableUK welcomed the figures, director of economics and markets, Dr Gordon Edge, saying the UK needed to take advantage of its wind resources.

He said: "While the amount of power generated by wind turbines is of course dependent on the strength of the wind at any given time, these figures help to demonstrate the increasing importance of wind generation as part of our electricity supply.

"In the face of both rising fossil fuel prices and climate change, it's clear that cutting the amount of gas and coal we burn to make electricity is crucial. Britain is the windiest country in Europe, and our fantastic wind resource is already playing a significant part in achieving this goal."

Luke Walsh


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