UK wind power breaks all records in January

Wind energy broke new records for monthly, weekly and half-hourly electricity generation in January, providing enough energy to power almost nine million UK homes.

New official figures from the National Grid reveal that 14% of Britain’s electricity (4.1TWh) came from wind turbines last month. The weekly record was also broken with 1.119GWh generated, and the half-hourly record was exceeded on 2 January, when wind supplied 31% of the nation’s electricity demands.

Commenting on these figures, RenewableUK’s director of external affairs, Jennifer Webber, said: “The past few months have seen significantly high levels of generation for wind energy and January was no exception. It’s great to see wind making such a positive contribution to Britain’s clean energy needs at a cold time of year when we need it most, and this can only continue with greater capacity coming online – reaching 12 gigawatts is an achievement which the industry and the nation can be proud of.

“But if we’re to secure a supply of clean energy for the long-term future, we need all the mainstream political parties to support the wind industry, onshore and offshore, in the General Election and beyond.”

Power slumps

The news came as overall UK wind capacity (onshore and offshore) topped 12 gigawatts for the first time, a milestone for the country – enough to supply nearly 7 million British households.

Despite these peaks, January also saw a handful of days when wind turbines generated their lowest output all winter, prompting fresh accusations from critics that Britain’s wind farms cannot be relied upon to keep the lights on when they are needed the most, despite receiving billions of pounds in subsidies.

According to the Telegraph, slow wind speeds meant wind output dropped to generating just 354MW on 19 January – less than 1% of Britain’s electricity needs.

edie staff

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie