Strong winds in December allowed UK’s wind fleet to meet an average of 5.3% of demand for the energy-intensive period of December and early January, a rise of 20%.
Wind power typically supplies between 4-5% of the UK’s electricity demand, a peak of 12.2% on 28th December representing a record figure within the industry.
RenewableUK, the trade association for the wind, wave & tidal industry, has praised National Grid’s handling of the large volumes of electricity generated by wind farms over the festive season.
As a result, carbon emissions from the UK’s electricity generators were cut by over 750,000 tonnes, the equivalent of taking over 300,000 cars off the road.
Dr Gordon Edge, RenewableUK’s director of policy, said “Wind energy represents a new paradigm in electricity generation, allowing us to harness the power of the weather when it’s available, cutting our fossil fuel bills and lowering our carbon emissions.”
“As we’re generating increasingly large amounts of electricity from wind, feeding those large volumes of power into the system represents an engineering challenge to the National Grid – a challenge we are pleased to see they met over Christmas.”
National Grid is responsible for balancing the output of the UK’s electricity generators with demand from consumers and businesses. Last year, it launched a new wind power forecasting system, which it said allows the company’s engineers to predict output from the UK’s growing fleet of wind farms more accurately.
A spokesperson for RenewableUK told The Manufacturer that it hopes the figures will increase the levels of confidence in wind power and help to prove that it can be a central part of creating a greener energy network in the UK.