Recently published government figures reveal that wind power met 14.7% of the country’s total demand in 2017, setting a new record.
It was also a good year for renewables in general, with renewable sources—including bioenergy, hydro, solar, and offshore and onshore wind—meeting almost 30% of total demand, up a quarter on the previous year. Renewables are now second only to gas in the amount of power being generated annually.
While all renewable sources generated more power in 2017, wind power is emerging as a dominant force, with combined offshore and onshore wind power providing about half of all renewable generation. Last year saw offshore and onshore wind power generation grew by 27.3% and 37%, respectively, compared with more modest increases of 10.2% for both solar and hydro.
Improvements in areas like production costs and efficiency design, as well as the use of advanced lubricants from Mobil UK stockists, have led to wind power becoming increasingly price competitive. In the last round of reverse auctions, two offshore projects were awarded contract for difference (CfD) deals at less than half the price (£57.50/MWh) of the two projects that won deals 19 months earlier. This demonstrates the rapid progress being made with offshore wind, but some people make the case that onshore wind should be again allowed to compete for subsidies. This could benefit consumers in terms of lower bills, because onshore wind, when suitably located, is believed to be the cheapest way to add new power capacity.