UK wind generation sets new records

7 January 2016

Official data from National Grid shows that generation from renewable energy in the UK has continued to grow and could overtake levels of nuclear generation in 2016.

While electricity generation from conventional and nuclear power plants still dominate in the UK, the growth in wind energy and solar power helped the renewables sector to reach a generation share of 21 per cent in 2015.

With coal-fired and nuclear generation set to fall, generation from renewables will surpass that from the nuclear sector this year, says EnAppSys, which compiles the data. Wind farms provided the largest volume of renewable generation with 32 TWh, up 15 per cent from 2014, and set new weekly and monthly and quarterly records.

In 2015 gas fired power plants provided the largest share of generation in the GB electricity market, amounting to 84 TWh or 27 per cent of overall generation. Coal-fired power plants provided the second largest share of total electricity generation by fuel type at 24 per cent, but saw the lowest levels of generation from coal stations since 1951. Total coal plant generation levels amounted to 74.5 TWh, with generation levels down 23 per cent from 2014.

In the renewables sector, biomass saw significant growth in 2015 due to the conversion of coal units at Drax. Huge growth was also seen in the solar PV segment, where solar farms now generate more electricity than hydro.

Solar farms in 2015 provided just over ten per cent of all renewable generation, said EnAppSys.

Wind farms in the UK set new records last year, including a new monthly record of supplying 17 per cent of electricity in Britain in December. A new weekly record was also set in December, with wind providing 20 per cent of the nation's needs in the last week of the month, up from 19 per cent in the second week of November.

Wind also broke the quarterly generation record in the three month period from October to December 2015, with 13 per cent of the nation's electricity demand met by wind and beating the previous 12 per cent high in the first quarter of 2015.


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