Wind turbines supplied more of Britain’s electricity than gas for the first time across a quarterly period, according to data from Imperial College London.
Wind accounted for 32.4% of British power in the first three months of 2023 against gas’s 31.7%, the university said.
Renewables as a whole – including solar, biomass and hydropower as well as wind – took almost 42% between them, said the data compiled for generation group Drax.
Imperial College researcher and report author Iain Staffell said: “There are still many hurdles to reaching a completely fossil fuel-free grid, but wind out supplying gas for the first time is a genuine milestone event.”
The UK’s wind fleet stands at just over 28GW, split roughly evenly between onshore and offshore turbines, according to industry group RenewableUK.
However, the UK wind industry has flagged significant challenges to further growth on land and sea.
Onshore, the sector is dismayed at the continuing challenges to developing new projects in England, despite promises by the ruling Conservative government that it would review rules that have led to a de facto ban since 2015.
Britain’s offshore wind sector – the largest outside China – is also showing signs of strain, with claims that the support available under the nation’s contract for difference (CfD) scheme won’t be adequate to drive the UK towards the government’s target of 50GW installed by 2030.