January 27, 2021

A new record set by Storm Bella for wind power production

2 min read

On Boxing Day, over half of the Great Britain’s power for daily use was from wind turbines. A report by the data charting the balance for power generation showed that Storm Bella brought gusts of up to 100mph and wind offered 50.7% of total Great Britain’s power. 

In August last year, the wind hit 60%, but such high levels have not been sustained 24 hours. Drax Electric Insights said Britain had encountered a renewables revolution with solar, wind, and biomass experiencing rapid growth over the last ten years. The coronavirus restrictions reduced power to demand that helped solar and wind to get a bigger share of the mix. On the other hand, fossil fuels have been edged out, allowing Britain to enjoy green energy. 

Last year up to 21st December, 36% of the total electricity produced in Wales, England, and Scotland was from gas and coal power plants. According to National Grid’s electricity system operator (NGESO) data, this decreases from 2019, where they produced 46%. Solar and wind farm produced 29% of electricity mix in 2020, increasing from 23%. 

The use of green energy has made Great Britain’s carbon intensity to come down to a new record of about 181g of CO2/kilowatt-hour of electricity. This is the lowest level compared to 215g on average last year as well as 248g in 2018. NGESO head of national control, Rob Rome, said that 2020 had been a year of record-breaking in Britain’s power system. The grid continues to expand as renewable energy sources experience rapid growth. 

The longest coal-free operation period occurred between April and June, where the highest stage of solar was generated in April and May been the greenest month. Tom Edwards, who works at Cornwall Insight, an energy consulting group as an analyst said more on gas-fired power facilities by the power system operator in operator. He added that this was as a result of lower winds and dark periods. 

A partner at PwC, a consulting firm, Steve Jennings, said that the major challenge towards net zero is the effect of electricity when the sun is not shining, or the wind is not blowing. The use of more renewable energy in Britain is expected to increase due to the fall of energy storage costs like batteries. The Covid-19 pandemic decreased the electricity consumption in 2020 while the average power demand reduced to 30.6GW in 2020 from 32.58GW. 

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