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Wind power beats nuclear and coal in record-breaking August

1 September 2014

RenewableUK says new data shows that August was an exceptional month for wind energy, with new records set and generation levels exceeding both nuclear and coal, according to official National Grid statistics.

On five separate occasions, wind overtook coal-fired plants for generation over a single day, the first time this has ever happened. Wind exceeded coal on the 3rd, 9th, 11th, 12th and 17th August. This strong performance continued towards the end of the month when onshore and offshore wind generated more than the nuclear fleet on the 29th August (5,805MW from wind compared to 5,379MW for nuclear).

On 11th August, wind also set a new daily record when it provided 21% of the UK’s electricity needs. This was exceeded on 17th August when wind broke its own record, setting a new figure of 22%. Before August, the daily record stood at 20% set on 20th December 2013.

This was also the best-performing August to date with total wind generation at 10%, which is close behind the 13% record set during December 2013.

RenewableUK’s Director of External Affairs, Jennifer Webber said: “Wind energy is taking its place as the UK’s new powerhouse, overtaking coal and nuclear as one of the most important resources we have to keep Britain’s lights on. It continues to surpass its own records, and these figures prove that can happen at any time of year. As we approach autumn and winter, we can expect wind to maintain this strong performance and provide electricity when demand is especially high”.


1. In August, wind generated an average of 3,108MW compared with 5,426MW for coal, 6,534MW for nuclear and 11,443MW for CCGT.

2. National Grid statistics provided by independent data analysts EnAppSys This includes National Grid estimates for embedded wind (turbines feeding into local networks)

3. Prior to August, there were four days when wind had generated more than nuclear, including embedded generation. These were on 8th February 2014, 15th March 2014, 19th March 2014 and 20th March 2014.


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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.

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