Home Money High winds mean over HALF the UK’s homes powered by green electricity

High winds mean over HALF the UK’s homes powered by green electricity

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Green electricity: Wind made up 61.6% of electricity production on April 6
  • Storm Kathleen’s high wind speeds caused wind turbines to generate more power
  • This led to wind power accounting for 61% of UK electricity production, double the average



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Storm Kathleen’s fierce winds had an unexpected benefit, as more than half of the country’s homes were supplied with electricity by wind power – double the normal average, This is Money can reveal.

On April 6, the peak of the storm, winds of more than 75mph were recorded in parts of Britain, causing major travel disruptions and flooding.

But the high wind speeds also caused the country’s wind turbines to produce twice as much electricity as normal.

Wind made up 61.6 percent of the country’s electricity supply on April 6, creating 18 gigawatts of power – enough to power 12.6 million homes that day.

Green electricity: Wind made up 61.6% of electricity production on April 6

Green electricity: Wind made up 61.6% of electricity production on April 6

According to National Grid ESO, this remained almost constant as of April 7, with wind accounting for 60.8 percent of the country’s electricity mix.

The British daily record for the amount of electricity coming from wind energy is 70.9 percent, also this year – on January 20.

The This is Money analysis shows that, thanks to a stormy start to the year, 50 percent or more electricity was generated from wind for a total of 18 days.

Furthermore, of the 87 days of the year (out of 97) provided by National ESO, wind energy will have accounted for 36.5 percent of the UK energy mix by 2023. This compared to 29.4 percent in 2023.

In February there was a four-day period in which wind made up 50 percent or more of the energy mix, while on April 5, 6 and 7, more than 50 percent of electricity generation also came from wind.

Wind energy made up just 29.4 percent of the UK electricity mix in 2023.

The other major ways to generate electricity are burning natural gas, coal, hydropower, solar energy and burning biomass.

High winds on April 6 meant that just 8.2 percent of Britain’s electricity that day came from burning fossil fuel natural gas, down from the 2023 standard of 32 percent.

Britain ranks fourth in the world when it comes to wind energy, behind China, the US and Germany. There are approximately 11,000 wind turbines in Britain, half of which are onshore and half offshore.

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These turbines have the potential to generate 30 gigawatts of electricity, provided there is enough wind to power them. At peak times, Britain needs about 60 gigawatts of electricity.

The government plans to increase the amount of electricity that wind turbines can generate to 50 gigawatts by 2030.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron had previously halted the construction of new onshore wind farms in 2015, while current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak relaxed this in 2023, although very few onshore wind farms are currently under construction.

But England alone could create 13 times more green energy than it currently does using less than 3 percent of its land, according to research from the University of Exeter and Friends of the Earth.

The researchers said that 96 terawatts of electricity could come from onshore wind power and another 130 terawatts from solar panels.

Tony Bosworth, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: ‘Unleashing Britain’s immense potential to generate cheap, clean, home-grown renewables is essential to slashing our energy bills for good and meeting the essential Britain’s international target to reduce CO2 emissions by two percent. third in 2030.

‘But the current government’s performance in increasing our energy security through renewables has been woefully inadequate and has meant Britain has fallen far behind in the global race to a zero-carbon economy.’

All coal-fired power stations in Britain must close by the end of 2024.

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