The UK saw another renewable energy record made last week when the ‘Mini Beast from the East’ swept across the country. Over 14GW of power was generated from wind alone, supplying over 35% of UK power. This was a huge milestone for UK power generation, after the last few winter months saw gas and coal fired power make up the majority of the power generation stack.
Under the Renewable Obligation and Contracts for Difference schemes, the UK power generation stack has moved to a more diverse supply mix. This doesn’t come without issues though. Wind and solar generation are intermittent and so nuclear and gas fired power are required to provide a base power supply in the case of cloudy, still days.
However, on this occasion, wind generation really helped the UK in its time of need. Gas was running short due to significantly cooler than average temperatures, and so less gas was available to provide power. The high winds of the recent stormy, cold weather saved the day.
Offshore wind farms are set to increase in numbers and in generation capacity between now and 2030 as part of a move to a more low carbon based fuel mix. Reports regarding the offshore wind industry anticipate that we could have capacity of 30GW through wind farms alone before 2030.
Sources: the Energyst, Smartest Energy, Energy Live News, the Guardian.