Figures from Drax Electic Insights, backed up by the National Grid, show that wind power met just over a third of British electricity demand, some 15 gigawatts, for an hour on Tuesday, December 18.
Overall renewables generation was also up in the third quarter of 2018, according to government figures, partly due to the Walney Extension coming online in September. Generation was 33.1%, compared to 30% in the same quarter in 2017.
The Walney Extension is the world’s largest functioning offshore windfarm and capable of powering 600,000 homes. With this, the UK broke the symbolic milestone of 20 gigawatts of wind generation (both onshore and offshore) capacity, which would be enough to power 14 million homes.
Emma Pinchbeck, an executive director of RenewableUK, said:
“Setting a new wind energy generation record in December is a great Christmas gift in an exceptional year for the UK’s world-leading renewable energy industries – we’ve smashed record after record.”
According to RenewableUK, there will soon be a large increase in storage capacity, with some 400 projects in development or already operational. Storage works alongside wind generation by storing excess energy, such as during periods of high winds or low demand, and releasing it later to compensate for low winds speeds or to meet peak demand.
Thanks to innovations like these, along with the better efficiency brought by advanced designs and lubricants like Mobilith SHC 220, wind power is increasingly meeting the country’s energy needs. In contrast, gas-fuelled generation declined slightly, while coal now provides just 2.5% of the country’s electricity.