The UK just broke its previous record for energy generated by wind power
Last year, the UK built more offshore wind farms than any other country in Europe. They’ve certainly been kept busy: these new turbines just contributed to the UK producing a massive 14GW of wind power for much of Saturday.
On Saturday morning, “wind loving” Twitter user Sarah Merrick asked the National Grid to confirm whether energy figures showing 13.9GW of power being generated by wind – 36.9% of the UK’s total electricity – represented a new high.
The National Grid confirmed that it was a new record for both metered wind output, at 10664MW, and total wind energy output, which including non-metered wind, reached 13.9GW.
For comparison, during the same 90-minute period, an average of 4.7GW of energy was attributed to coal, and 8.7GW to gas. Solar power achieved 1.5GW, 4.1% of the total, while hydro power only contributed 0.3GW.
The figure for wind power peaked at 14.2GW at around 9.30am.
The figures quoted by Ms Merrick were published by British electric power generation company Drax, whose electrical insights page shows live data about the “supply, demand, price and environmental impact” of Britain’s electricity.
The company’s 2017 reports highlights that wind power grew by 45% last year, generating 15% of Britain’s electricity.
Thanks to the several large offshore farms coming online, the energy output from wind was especially high towards the end of the year. “Quarter 4 saw Britain’s wind farms smash previous records, producing 15 TWh in three months, or 19% of electricity consumed,” explains the report.
Faster wind speeds were also a factor. “The very active hurricane season boosted wind speeds, which were 5% higher in 2017 than 2016. However, the year-round average of 10.1 mph was in line with the long-term average for Britain, meaning expectations for 2018 should be just as good.”