Wind energy generates substantially more electricity in UK

9% of UK’s electricity now generated from renewable sources. Increase of two-thirds in electricity from offshore wind in first three quarters of 2011. Official figures disprove claims by critics of wind energy.

The latest Government figures on the amount of electricity generated by wind power have been welcomed by RenewableUK, the country’s largest renewable energy trade association, as proof of the increasingly significant contribution wind energy makes to UK households.

Statistics for the third quarter of 2011, released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, show that renewable sources generated 9 per cent of the UK’s electricity from July to September. That represents an increase of nearly 1 per cent on the same quarter last year.

DECC highlighted the fact that the amount of electricity generated from offshore wind has increased “substantially” compared to the same quarter in 2010, partly because of increased capacity, and partly because it was the windiest September for at least ten years.

When the overall figures for the first three quarters of 2011 (Jan – Sept) are taken into account, the statistics show a 64% increase in the amount of electricity generated by offshore wind on the same three quarters for last year (up from 1943 GWh to 3189 GWh), and a 36% increase for onshore wind (up from 4865 gigawatt hours to 6618GWh).

Dr Gordon Edge, RenewableUK’s Director of Policy, said: “This is another strong set of statistics from DECC, proving that despite the anti-wind propaganda being spouted by lobbyists with their own particular agendas, wind turbines are continuing to generate increasingly large amounts of electricity for the UK’s households.

We will continue to offer a secure supply of clean energy which will reduce our dependence on ultra-expensive fossil fuels such as gas. Let’s not forget that it’s the cost of importing gas which has sent domestic fuel bills through the roof, so we have to get off the fossil fuel hook. Renewable sources such as wind offer us excellent value for money overall. We believe that hard-pressed households deserve the best deal when it comes to cutting their energy bills in the long term", Dr Edge commented.

DECC also highlighted the growth in the UK’s installed capacity to generate electricity from renewable sources of 400 megawatts in the third quarter of the year – a 12 per cent increase on Q3 a year earlier. Nearly two-thirds of that increase (240MW) came from onshore and offshore wind, with the first turbines of the Ormonde and Greater Gabbard offshore wind farms beginning operation.

The UK now has enough installed capacity to supply more than 3,300,000 homes from wind energy.

RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with more than 700 corporate members, RenewableUK is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK. 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.