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Britain generating more wind power than ever

Datetime: 2022-04-15 09:17:00

Wind-powered turbines produced more electricity for the United Kingdom during the first three months of 2022 than in any previous quarter, according to research from market specialist EnAppSys.

The company, which provides energy information to traders, analysts, and other stakeholders, said the increased use of wind power was part of an overall growth of renewable energy seen in the UK, as the nation strives to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

EnAppSys said the UK is now generating almost as much electricity from wind power as it is from gas-fired power stations. And the renewable sector overall-which includes power generated from wind, wave, biomass, and the sun-now produces more energy than gas-powered and coal-powered sources combined.

"More wind generation was seen this quarter than in any other quarter on record," Paul Verrill, director of EnAppSys, told The Telegraph newspaper. "Renewables exceeded aggregate fossil-fuel generation for a calendar quarter. This has only ever happened once before, in the first quarter of 2020."

However, while the shift toward renewable energy was doubtless good news for the planet in its fight against global warming, EnAppSys noted that the UK has been trying to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels as much as it has been trying to reduce carbon emissions, with the situation in Ukraine pushing up the already high cost of fossil fuels.

London unveiled its new plan for energy production last week, in which it said it wants to increase off shore wind-power capacity to 50 GW by 2030, and also increase its land-based wind power production.

In addition, the UK said it will use more power generated from the sun, hydrogen, and nuclear sources, as it edges toward its target of net-zero carbon emissions, which it has promised to achieve by 2050.

EnAppSys said wind power has, in recent years, been accounting for around 20 percent of the UK's total power needs. Gas-powered electricity has been accounting for around 35 percent, and nuclear power has produced around 16 percent.

But the company said the 20 percent wind had been contributing was pushed up to 31 percent during the past three months, with huge new projects coming online.

And it said the UK has now got 25 gigawatts, or GW, of wind-power capacity installed on land and above its seas, where it only had around 5 GW in 2008.

Trade association Renewable UK estimated an additional 86 GW of wind power is already in the pipeline, in the form of projects that are at various stages of development.

CityAM newspaper said wind power's strong performance in the first quarter of 2022 followed a disappointing third quarter of 2021, during which wind-speeds were at 40-year lows, and power production was correspondingly poor, highlighting one potential frailty of the burgeoning power source.

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