The official figures from the grid show that Britain’s onshore and offshore windfarms hit a new high of 14.9 gigawatts (GW) between 6.00pm and 6.30pm on Wednesday evening.

Analysis conducted by Drax Electric Insights shows that this equated to 33 per cent of Britain’s electricity needs at a time of high demand.

This beat the previous record of 14.5GW set on 9 November.

National Grid said that overall on Wednesday, wind generated 32.2% of Britain’s electricity, ahead of gas which provided 23.5%.

Nuclear supplied 17.9%, coal 8.7%, biomass 8%, imports 7.8% and hydro 1.7%.

On Thursday National Grid said wind generated 32% of Britain’s electricity followed by gas at 25%, while nuclear supplied 18.1%, coal 9.1%, biomass 7.1%, imports 5.9%, and hydro 2.0%.

Emma Pinchbeck, executive director of Renewable UK, said: “It’s great to see British wind power setting new records at one of the coldest, darkest, wettest times of the year, providing clean energy for people as they came home, switched everything on, turned up the power and cooked dinner.

“As well as tackling climate change, wind is good for everyone who has to pay an electricity bill, as the cost of new offshore wind has fallen spectacularly so it’s now cheaper than new gas and nuclear projects, and onshore wind is the cheapest power source of all.”

David Blackman

This article first appeared on edie’s sister title website, Utility Week

Comments (2)

  1. Keiron Shatwell says:

    And a week later with a massive High over the country it produces virtually nothing. Or a named storm rolls in and they are all feathered to prevent damage.

    All well and good celebrating a day but until wind is providing 100% of the country’s demand 100% of the time come tempest or calm it’s nothing much to really shout about.

  2. Richard Phillips says:

    Well said Kieron

    The total installed wind power has a headline value of 20GW. If we could have that 14.5GW as a reliable power source it would be valuable. However, if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride!!!!

    As it is, it a highly unreliable, variable power source over which we have no control. In fact it is worse than that. Wind has priority in the grid over gas and coal. When plentiful, in high winds, gas and coal are required, and are able, to reduce output to match requirements. And in times of high demand and low winds, gas and coal step in to make good the inevitable deficiency. This obligation to pander to wind power is costly, and requires financial support, customer pays.

    The cost of onshore wind power is only less than conventional sources if subsidies are ignored, and note that off-shore is excluded from the "cheaper than" slogan.

    The life of turbines is considerably shorter than fossil and nuclear plant, requiring "repowering and blade change in 12-15 years, nuclear plant is designed for 60 years, and experience with our own, now old rectors has been to exhibit their trustworthiness.

    I would have more confidence in the technical statements in these matters by Emma Pinchbeck if she were to have technical qualifications in power generation or science; Classics and English from oxford, excellent in their field, do quite fill the slot.

    I did have an FRIC in 1971, and did spend 35 years in nuclear energy research at the AERE at Harwell. And I keep up to date .

    Richard Phillips

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