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Wind sets power records in August

Words: Huw Morris
Renewable wind energy / Shutterstock 155706680

Wind power generation in the UK broke records in August by supplying nearly 60 per cent of the nation’s electricity on two occasions.

National Grid ESO confirmed the latest record last Wednesday at 1.30am (26 August), when wind met 59.9 per cent or 14.2GW of total power demand, which was 23.7GW.

Storm Francis was buffeting the UK at the time of the recordings.

The rest of the power mix at that time was made up of gas at 18.8 per cent, nuclear at 15 per cent, biomass at 3.1 per cent, imports at 2.5 per cent and hydro/others at 0.7 per cent.

This record surpasses the previous highest share for wind of 59.1 per cent set days before on 22 August.

The UK has an installed wind energy capacity of 24GW, divided between 13.6GW onshore and 10.4GW offshore.

In 2019, wind provided around a fifth of UK power. By 2030 offshore wind alone is expected to meet more than a third of the UK’s power demand.

Ahead of a next year’s auction of contracts to secure new renewable generation capacity, RenewableUK has stated a “high level of ambition” could deliver new investment of £20 billion and support 12,000 jobs.

“Renewables are breaking records faster than anyone expected, and this new wind record is a clear signal of the future of our energy system,” said RenewableUK director of strategic communications Luke Clark.

“We need to see a huge increase in low-carbon power to meet the UK’s net-zero target and if we can ramp up low-cost renewables in the short term, that will boost our economic recovery and speed up the switch to low-carbon heating, electric vehicle and investment in new technologies like green hydrogen.”

Image credit | Shutterstock