New British wind power record

Commenting on the news that output from UK wind farms has topped 10 GW for the first time, Dr Jonathan Marshall, Energy Analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said: 

Offshore Wind Farm Sheringham Shoal By Statkraft

Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm. Image: StatKraft, creative commons licence

“Breaking short-term output records on top of monthly and annual figures clearly shows that wind is now a major part of the UK electricity mix, and will continue to be in the future. Claims that the grid would be unable to handle 5,10 or 20% wind power have been shown to be well wide of the mark.

“Possessing some of the windiest regions in Europe, the UK is poised to lead its peers in wind generation. Analysis has shown a UK resource of nearly 500 TWh per year [2], more than a third more than current annual power consumption. The Government has shown its willingness to install new capacity offshore, but is lagging on onshore wind as other countries move ahead, and as its official advisors call for barriers preventing the cheapest form of electricity generation to be removed. 

“The opening of new infrastructure to transport power south from the windy hills of Scotland is ramping up – and will help to reduce the whole system cost of wind – while technologies to manage variable output are rapidly becoming cheaper. The UK is moving towards the low-cost, low-carbon grid of the future, one whose benefits have been estimated at £8 billion per year."

January 17th saw output from UK wind farms top 10 GW for the first time, corresponding to 25-40% of output depending on the time of day: . Current maximum output at time of writing is in excess of 13 GW.