The National Grid has announced that power generation from British windfarms hit a new high of 14.2 GW on Saturday, March 17. It also said that at 2:30 pm of that day, wind power represented 34.2% of power demand.
This is good news for the country as it seeks to find new clean sources of power generation to replace older nuclear and coal-fired power stations as they are decommissioned. Wind can be unpredictable of course, but many new windfarms also take advantage of power storage, so excess power from windier days can be stored for later use. These usually use battery technology, but one windfarm in Germany uses excess power to pump water up to a high reservoir. When wind speeds drop, the elevated water can be used to drive hydroelectric turbines instead.
The director of the system operator at National Grid, Fintan Slye, said about the news:
“2017 was a record year for green energy and it’s looking likely 2018 is set to exceed that.”
According to industry group Renewable UK, it expects 2018 to see another 2GW of capacity added to the 19GW that was available by the end of 2017. Over 2017, wind power capacity grew by about a fifth.
Advances in scale, production costs, and lubricants (like those available through Mobil UK stockists) are making wind power increasingly competitive. Even offshore windfarm projects came in surprisingly cheap in the government’s last reverse auction for subsidies, beating new nuclear projects on price.