UK wind power broke records in 2022 as it supplied more than a quarter of the nation’s power, said British network operator National Grid ESO.
Wind accounted for a 26.8% share of UK electricity last year, second only to gas which supplied 38.5% and ahead of nuclear with 15.5%.
The UK turbine fleet notched up a number of firsts, including providing more than 20GW of power for the first time and so accounting for more than 70% of generation on a single day.
National Grid ESO added: “Zero carbon sources continued to outperform traditional fossil fuel generation over the last 12 months by providing 48.5% of the electricity used this year, compared to 40% from gas and coal power stations.”
The UK currently has 28GW of operational wind power, 14.3GW onshore and 13.7GW at sea, according to latest data from RenewableUK.
Pressure is growing on the UK’s Conservative government to follow through on its signals that it is ready to ease planning restrictions on new onshore wind projects in England that have stifled development since 2015.
A committee of UK MPs this week said measures to unlock new onshore development should be brought forward as soon as possible and recommended the setting of installation targets for wind on land similar to those in place for offshore.
Jess Ralston, head of energy at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit think-tank said: “New offshore wind farms are helping to limit bill increases this year but we’re still some way behind countries like Germany that got around 45% of their power from renewables in the last year.
“A 2015 decision to ban onshore wind has proven short-sighted in the gas crisis, and our old-fashioned energy grid urgently needs investment to maximise the opportunity that wind and solar offer to continue to reduce bills.”