Production of electricity from wind reached a historical record on the 6th of September this year, with around 10% of all electricity delivered to consumers generated by the UK’s wind farms, according to data from the National Grid.
At the peak time of 8.30 pm on Monday 6th September, 1860MW was being generated – largely from Scotland – accounting for 4.7% of total generation at the time. National Grid also believes that if embedded wind generation (generation feeding directly into the low voltage local electricity networks by smaller wind farms) is taken into account wind generated about 10% of Great Britain’s power during the 24 hour period.
This is not including the contribution from other renewables such as hydro, which contributed a further 4%, according to data held by Elexon, the balancing and settlement code company for Great Britain. The total UK consumption during the 24 hours was 809.5GWh.
“We are expecting to see the contribution of electricity from wind gradually increase over the next decade, to around 30% of the UK’s total consumption. This news confirms that not only are the wind farms we have built so far starting to deliver, but that UK wind farm electricity yields are the best in Europe, and comparable with established technologies such as hydro,” says Maria McCaffery, chief executive of RenewableUK, the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. “These figures underpin the strong contention that renewable energy – and wind energy in particular – is no longer alternative. It is on the scale and growing rapidly.”
The UK currently has 4,616.05MW of installed wind energy across 263 wind farms, with a further 2,716MW in construction and 6,126MW with planning consent. The industry has highlighted that added together this represents 13.5GW about to come on stream in the next few years. A further 10GW of wind energy projects in the planning system awaits determination.
“If we added together all the wind energy projects in planning to the projects already existing and about to come on stream, we would be three-quarters of the way to reaching our 2020 targets. If we count in the tremendous potential of offshore wind, the plan of turning the UK into a net energy exporter does not seem unlikely. Reaching our targets and unleashing the colossal opportunities wind energy brings to the UK is perfectly achievable,” Maria McCaffery adds.