Wind generation in the UK has hit a new record in the early hours of Wednesday morning when it supplied some 60% of Britain’s power thanks to high winds from storm Francis.
National Grid ESO confirmed the latest record was reached at 1.30am on 26 August when wind reached 59.9% (14.2GW) of total power demand (23.7GW).The rest of the power mix at that time was made up of gas (18.8%), nuclear (15%), biomass (3.1%), imports (2.5%) and hydro/others (0.7%).
The new record surpasses the previous highest share for wind of 59.1% set on 22 August. The UK currently has installed wind energy capacity of 24GW, comprising 10.4GW of offshore wind and 13.6GW onshore.
Last year wind provided 20% of UK power. This is expected to grow rapidly this decade, with offshore wind alone expected to meet over a third of Britain's power needs by 2030.
UK government annual statistics last month highlighted the record-breaking performance of renewables generally, which provided a record 37.1% of the UK’s electricity last year, up from 33.1% in 2018, with Britain's historic coal power fleet falling into long periods of disuse as it vanishes from the mix.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2020 noted that 2019 was the first year in which renewables accounted for more than one third of the country’s total electricity generation, mainly due to increased onshore and offshore wind capacity.