Record Breaking Summer for Wind generation.
Wind power has proved its place in the UK power generation, as a credible and effective way of using renewable sources for powering the homes and businesses in the UK.
There has been a record-breaking summer for the renewables industry, as wind overtook coal-fired plants for generation on five separate occasions in August - the first time this has ever happened. Coupled with wind technology generating recording a record 24% of all energy output in UK one Sunday in October, wind generation is making the industry sit up and appreciate its long term potential for UK power. This record day beats the previous 22% generated in August this year
Coal fired stations offline
National Grid statistics revealed the wind sector had no trouble stepping up as nine nuclear reactors were offline and a further power station shut down because of fire. Far from a one off, the power generated by wind has resulted in several coal fired stations being turned off as they were surplus to requirements, on many occasions in the past 12 months.
Renewable UK director of external affairs Jennifer Webber said such outages could well become more common in the future. "This year has seen successive new records for wind generation and this latest evidence shows it's more than capable of stepping in when traditional sources of generation go offline without warning. As we can expect more of these outages in the future, it's reassuring to know we have wind filling the energy gap."
In further celebration, the industry celebrates a peak generation record of 7,998 MW over a half hour period, which Trade association RenewableUK said was equivalent to the power needed for 17 million homes.
Wind power is far cheaper
EU analysis, was written for the European commission by the Ecofys consultancy, has reported that wind power is far cheaper than coal and gas when health impacts are factored in. The report says that for every megawatt hour (MW/h) of electricity generated, onshore wind costs roughly €105 (£83) per MW/h, compared to gas and coal which can cost up to around €164 and €233 per MW/h, respectively. These figures have been calculated taking in to account external factors like air quality, human toxicity and climate change.
“This report highlights the true cost of Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels,” said Justin Wilkes, the deputy CEO of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). “Renewables are regularly denigrated for being too expensive and a drain on the taxpayer. Not only does the commission’s report show the alarming cost of coal but it also presents onshore wind as both cheaper and more environmentally-friendly.”