UK wind sector recorded highest ever output in mid-March
21 March 2018
Power generation from Britain’s wind farms hit a record 14.2 gigawatts (GW) on March 17, National Grid said. This represented 34.2% of domestic electricity generation at 1430 GMT that day, the country’s power grid operator said.
The National Grid Control Room confirmed on Twitter that the highest ever metered wind output was recorded at 10.664GW. That figure, combined with embedded and non-metered wind, took Saturday’s total output over 14GW at various times.
Clean Energy News said Elexon data showed that the system price for electricity on the morning of March 17 dipped to £38.10/MWh before falling to a daily low of £28/MWh around 3pm, quoting an expert who said the new record demonstrated the UK’s potential for a low-carbon energy economy at reasonable cost to consumers.
Falling solar and wind prices have enabled energy users to reduce energy costs and improve the country’s CO2 footprint, while the growth in energy storage options will also reduce the load on the power grid at peak times.
Fintan Slye, director of the system operator at National Grid, said 2017 saw the highest ever output for green energy, and it looked likely that 2018 could be higher still.
Britain is looking to wind power to help bridge a looming electricity supply gap as old nuclear plants and coal-fired power stations close.
Wind capacity in the country grew by about a fifth in 2017 to around 19 GW, data from industry association Wind Europe showed, as wind farms such as Orsted’s Burbo Bank offshore extension and Vattenfall’s Pen-y-Cymoedd onshore project opened. Industry group
Renewable UK forecasts around 2 GW of wind capacity will be added in 2018.
In Britain’s most recent renewable subsidy auction last year, the price guarantee given to new offshore wind projects fell below that given to new nuclear generation for the first time. Prices are tipped to keep falling as technology advances.
The previous wind generation record, of 13.8 GW, was set on March 1, when a cold snap gripped Britain and National Grid issued its first gas deficit warning in eight years.
Germany has the most wind capacity in Europe, at around 56 GW, followed by Spain with 23 GW and then Britain, Wind Europe data showed.
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