At the peak time of 8.30pm on Monday 6th September, 1860 MW was being generated – largely from Scotland – accounting for 4.7 per cent of total generation at the time. National Grid also believes that if embedded wind farm generation (generation feeding directly into the low voltage local electricity networks by smaller wind farms) is taken into account wind generated about 10 per cent of GB’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.
Commenting on the news RenewableUK Chief Executive Maria McCaffery said: "We are expecting to see the contribution of electricity from wind energy 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.
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 4,616.05 MW of installed wind power across 263 wind farms, with a further 2,716 MW in construction and 6,126 MW with planning consent. The industry has highlighted that added together this represents 13.5 GW about to come on stream in the next few years. A further 10 GW 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 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," concluded McCaffery.
RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with 620 corporate members, RenewableUK is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK, representing onshore wind, offshore wind, wave and tidal and small wind system technologies. Wind has been the world’s fastest growing renewable energy source for the last seven years, and this trend is expected to continue with falling costs of wind energy and the urgent international need to tackle CO2 emissions to prevent climate change.