Wind power supplied an average of 5.3% of the UK’s demand for electricity for December and early January, reaching a record share of 12.2% on 28th December. As a result, carbon emissions from the UK’s electricity generators were cut by over 750,000 tonnes, equivalent to taking over 300,000 cars off the road.
Dr Gordon Edge, director of policy at RenewableUK, the trade association for the wind, wave & tidal industry, comments “Wind energy represents a new paradigm in electricity generation, allowing us to harness the power of the weather when it’s available, cutting our fossil fuel bills and lowering our carbon emissions. As we’re generating increasingly large amounts of electricity from wind, feeding those large volumes of power into the system represents an engineering challenge to the National Grid – a challenge we are pleased to see they met over Christmas.”
National Grid is responsible for balancing the output of the UK’s electricity generators with demand from consumers and businesses on a minute by minute basis. Integrating the variable output of wind generators involves taking a range of balancing actions, including reducing the rate at which fossil fuel generators consume fuel when wind output is higher. Last year, National Grid launched a new wind power forecasting system, allowing their engineers to more accurately predict output from the UK’s growing fleet of wind farms.