Wind power sets new UK generation record

The UK has set a new national record for wind generation this week, with windfarms generating almost 20GW of electricity during a 30-minute window on Wednesday (26 October).

Wind power sets new UK generation record

The UK is aiming for 50GW of wind capacity

The UK’s windfarms set the new generation record at 11:30 on Wednesday. Windfarms provided 19,936MW of electricity, accounting for more than 52% of total energy demand, according to data from the National Grid ESO.

This new milestone beats the previous 30-minute generating record that was set on 25 May earlier this year. Wind also generated more electricity for the grid than ever before over a 90-minute period.

The data also revealed that, as a whole, wind accounted for half of the country’s power needs on Wednesday. While the generation, in terms of MW, is a record, the highest percentage of electricity generated from wind over a 30-minute window still stands a 64%, which was set on 29 January this year.

Commenting on the milestone, RenewableUK chief executive Dan McGrail said: “As we head towards winter, it’s reassuring for people to know that Britain’s onshore and offshore wind farms are doing the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping the lights on and reducing our reliance on expensive gas imports.

“That’s why it’s important to speed up and scale up on the amount of onshore and offshore wind capacity were installing – to boost our energy security and to reduce electricity bills for consumers, as new wind projects generate electricity cheaper than any other source.”

The Government’s recent Energy Security Strategy outlines plans to make the nation a world leader in wind generation.

The Strategy increases the UK’s 2030 target for installed offshore wind capacity from 40GW, an ambition first set in 2020, to 50GW. There is also an ambition for up to 5GW of capacity additions to come from floating wind. These levels of deployment should mean that half of the UK’s installed energy generation capacity in 2030 will be offshore wind.

To help deliver this accelerated rate of deployment, the Government will reduce the consent time for new wind farms from four years to one year. This timeline could be cut further with engagement with industry, National Grid and Ofgem, the Strategy speculates.

However, a lack of planned capacity additions to the onshore wind sector could see annual energy costs reach £10bn in the UK – equating to £125 per household – according to analysis from the ECIU.

Currently, the UK has 14GW of onshore wind capacity, which is expected to rise to 20GW once projects under construction become operational. However, the ECIU warns that this would not be enough to limit energy costs for households.

Comments (2)

  1. David Heine says:

    That is really encouraging news among all the doom on the ‘energy crisis’. A pity that it is has not been reported wider on news network to at least show the worrying public that big steps are being taken in the renewable sector – of course storage still requires a solution , but we should grasp positive news in this arena.

  2. Richard Phillips says:

    Wind energy is just that, OK when the wind blows at above a certain speed.
    But only last year, wind speeds were very low for over a week during August, as I recall.
    The greater our reliance. and it is coming to that, the more vulnerable we are to the natural variability of wind speeds, which from any angle, is totally beyond our control.
    It suits storage, but that is in short supply, we do not have the Alps.
    Nuclear generation is well below base load, reliable and carbon free. But not, perhaps, a nice little earner.
    And that latter is what it is all about, is it not????
    Richard Phillips

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