Hurricane helps wind energy sector overtake nuclear

Wind power energy production in the UK overtook nuclear power-plants last week following Hurricane Gonzalo, prompting a major energy production milestone this quarter.

Data from the Lorien Energy Index (LEI) – produced by Lorien Engineering Solutions – has revealed that energy prices fell by almost 7% between the first and second quarters of this year – overall 4% lower than the same period last year. 

It comes off the back of Hurricane Gonzalo, which swept across the UK and helped wind turbines out-produce nuclear power plants on Tuesday, 21 October. 

The news follows analysis by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Greenpeace International estimating that global wind power capacity will hit 2,000GW and wind-generated energy could supply up to 20% of the world’s electricity by 2030. 

It also comes just a few days after the nation’s wind energy sector set a  production record. That capped off a record-breaking summer as wind overtook coal-fired plants for generation on five separate occasions in August

Lorien Engineering Solutions sustainability consultant Tom Jordan said: “While extreme weather conditions and issues with the four EDF nuclear energy plants no doubt contributed to these milestones, widespread reporting in mainstream media is a positive indication of a growing recognition of the renewables sector and its contribution to the UK’s energy supply. Indeed, grid parity for solar and wind technologies are now being reported as achievable within the next decade. 

“For businesses, there is an opportunity to invest in energy efficiency initiatives, particularly against the current backdrop of falling costs for renewables and low carbon technologies, and the potential for a period of fossil derived energy price stability.”

Graph: Q2 2014 results from the Lorien Energy Index (LEI)

Unbiased assessment

More than 10,000 large organisations in the UK will be affected by the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) which require all businesses consisting of more than 250 employees to undertake comprehensive assessments of energy use and efficiency at least once every four years.

— Read edie’s explanation of ESOS —

Tom Jordan said: “ESOS has been welcomed as a move away from supplier-led incentivised ‘free’ energy audits towards unbiased assessments. It further poses an excellent opportunity to engage from grass roots to board level, with a requirement for Director-level sign-off of the report prior to submission to the Environment Agency.

“We have been carrying out successful energy reduction projects on behalf of clients for many years. Now, with staff confirmed on the approved register for Lead Assessors, we are looking forward to helping them capitalise on the opportunity ESOS presents to justify and realise energy efficiency projects at their sites.”

Lois Vallely

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