Significantly, for the first time wind farm plants contributed more than 10 terawatt hours (TWh) in a single year, representing growth of 7.7% on 2009.
RenewableUK commented that this is particularly significant in the light of some of the recent media coverage, which suggested that the contribution of wind energy during the 2010 winter months was negligible.
Alex Murley, RenewableUK’s Head of Technical Affairs, said: “The contribution of wind turbines in 2010 to the UK’s electricity supply was almost 3 times that of hydro, totaling over 10 terawatt hours. This is sufficient electricity for well over 2 million homes. In terms of Quarter 4 2010 all indicators point to the fact that wind delivered a record contribution of electricity to the grid, both 20% higher than Q3 2010 and 24% higher than the comparable Quarter of 2009.”
RenewableUK’s latest estimates show that in addition to the current installed wind farm capacity of 5.2 gigawatts (GW), at least 3GW are expected to come on stream by the end of 2012, increasing the annual contribution of wind electricity to around 22 TWh.
“The message from the statistics released today is clear: wind power is becoming the dominant renewable technology in terms of consistent growth and units delivered to consumers. Further deployment is set to enhance our energy security and create new low carbon industries,” concluded Murley.
RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with 650 corporate members, RenewableUK is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK.
In 2010 UK wind farms generated 10.04 TWh, compared to 9.32 TWh in 2009, see latest DECC Energy Trends: