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New wind energy record for Great Britain

4 February 2013

A record amount of electricity has been generated by wind energy in Great Britain, according to National Grid.

The new high was reached on Sunday morning, when wind generated more than 5 gigawatts for the first time – more than 12% of the nation’s electricity needs for industry, businesses and households – enough to power more than ten million British homes.

It’s the first time that wind energy has exceeded the 5 gigawatt threshold in Britain.

RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Maf Smith said:

“This new record proves that Britain is generating an increasingly significant amount of clean electricity from wind. The quantity of low-carbon energy that wind is feeding into the grid is continuing to surge upwards. We’re set to generate at least 15% of the UK’s electricity from wind by 2020.

As well as creating tens of thousands of green-collar jobs, and the wider environmental benefits, wind gives us another very important advantage – energy security. The UK can take control of the way we generate our power by using a secure, natural, local source of energy rather than relying on imports of expensive fossil fuels from unstable parts of the world. Wind as a crucial part of our energy mix and is becoming more important as extra onshore and offshore capacity is added to the system.”

In fact, the total amount of electricity generated from wind in the UK is even higher. A further 2.5 gigawatts of wind capacity, which is connected to local and regional electricity networks, is not metered. This extra output isn’t recorded by National Grid officials because most of it usually serves the local area rather than being fed into the grid nationwide.

Notes

1. National Grid states that on Sunday 3rd February a new record of 5058 megawatts (5.058 gigawatts) of electricity was generated from wind, representing 12.28% of overall generation.

2. RenewableUK has observed that over a two-hour period from 10:30am to 12:30pm on Sunday 3rd February, total metered wind output in Great Britain exceeded 5GW, reaching a peak of 5.058GW at 11:30am. Metered wind output exceeded 4GW over a ten hour period from 5:30am to 3:30pm.

3. The Office for National Statistics recorded 26.4 million households in the UK in 2012. http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/family-demography/families-and-households/2012/stb-families-households.html In Great Britain there are 25,696,725 households (703,275 in Northern Ireland).

4. Ten million households calculation: 5,058MW x 24 hrs x 365 days / annual household consumption of 4,266 kWh (DECC Statistics) = 10,386,329 homes powered.

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RenewableUK is the UK’s leading renewable energy trade association, specialising in onshore wind, offshore wind and wave & tidal energy. Formed in 1978, we have an established, large corporate membership ranging from small independent companies, to large international corporations and manufacturers. Acting as a central point of information and a united, representative voice for our membership, we conduct research; find solutions; organise events, facilitate business development, and promote wind and marine renewables to government, industry, the media and the public. Our vision is for renewable energy to play a leading role in powering the UK.