Great Britain Sets New Record for Wind Generation

Wind Energy

(Credit: Pexels)

by | Jan 5, 2023

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Wind Energy

(Credit: Pexels)

Britain has achieved a new record for wind energy generation, with power from onshore and offshore turbines helping to enhance sustainable energy production late last year.

National Grid’s electricity system operator (ESO), which handles Great Britain’s grid, reported the record number was set on 30 December, when 20.91 gigawatts (GW) were produced by turbines. This was the third time Britain’s fleet of wind turbines set new generation records in 2022.

Additionally, the ESO set records for shares of electricity on the grid coming from zero-carbon sources – renewables and nuclear – which supplied 87.2% of total power. These sources have accounted for about 55% to 59% of power over the past couple of years.

However, the United Kingdom is underperforming when it comes to implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – including energy transitions, climate action, and sustainable communities – according to a report from the UN Global Compact Network UK.

The report finds the UK is performing well on 17% of the country’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets. Compared to 2018, the group says the UK has made improvements on 23 targets, regression on 18 others, with no change on 65 other goals.

The UN Global Compact Network UK does find that progress has been made in increasing the scale and scope of tackling climate and environmental issues. According to the group, the government and businesses have the opportunity to develop a stronger overall plan to solve systemic issues regarding sustainability challenges.

Further analysis shows the UK is missing the mark on affordable, reliable, and modern energy services, as well as increasing the mix of renewable energy used in the country. According to the report, the government is falling short of its aim of doubling the rate of energy efficiency by 2030.

In order to hit the target of 80% renewable energy by 2050, the UK needs to increase at least 3 gigawatts of solar, and 3 GW of wind capacity per year. The report also states, by 2035 more than 25 GW of flexible capacity should be generated from batteries and other sources.

Additionally, as Britain faced a cold snap, power prices soared forcing Britains to increase heating use, pushing up demand for energy. Unfortunately, the cold weather was accompanied by a period of low wind, reducing the production of Britain’s wind farms to practically nothing. 

In the US, surging global energy prices are supercharging the already rapid pace of growth in solar, wind, and battery storage projects, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) US 2022 Power Sector Outlook

Last year, IEEFA predicted that wind, solar and hydro would account for almost 30% of the US electric power market by the end of 2026. Given significant growth over the last year, IEEFA now expects the figure is likely to hit 33%. When combined with present nuclear power, carbon-free alternatives would offer more than half of the US electrical supply.

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