UK wind power surpasses nuclear over a quarter

Windfarms in the UK provided more electricity than nuclear power stations in the first three months of 2018. It is the first time wind has overtaken nuclear across a quarter.

Data drawn from the UK’s electricity grid has highlighted how wind power continues to pass new milestones and break once unthinkable records.

Wind farms were the second-highest form of power generation across the first three months of 2018, according to analysts from Imperial College London.

Overall, the UK’s 8,886 onshore and offshore turbines produced 18.8 per cent of all the country’s electricity. The eight nuclear power plants provided 18.7 per cent.

The news follows similar data from the previous quarter that showed wind and solar energy combined overtook nuclear for the first time, according to a statement from the Climate Action Programme.

At their peak in March, wind turbines surpassed 14 gigawatts for the first time, supplying 47.3 per cent of all UK electricity.

This occurred during an unusually cold snap, with the report showing that on six days when temperatures fell below zero wind was providing between 12 and 43 per cent of electricity demand.

According to the report, “there has been much debate on whether wind can be relied upon during a cold, calm spell, but that this latest data provides evidence to the contrary.”

All renewable technologies combined provided 26 per cent of power, and adding in nuclear meant low-carbon sources reached 49 per cent.

The data shows how renewable energy has become part of the energy mainstream, as the UK transitions away from polluting technologies, concluded the statement.

Photo credit: Josh A. Tilley/ CC BY-SA 2.0

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