Storm Erik causes new peak for British wind generation

A new record was set for British wind generation last week, thanks to Storm Eric.

On Friday, the National Grid reported Great British wind generation peaked at 15.32 gigawatts (GW), providing 36% of the UK’s electricity demand.

The UK utility regulator confirmed last night that between 12:15pm to 1:45pm wind was being generated at its highest level ever.

The new data beats the previous record of 15.04GW, recorded on December 18 last year.

RenewableUK’s executive director Emma Pinchbeck said: “At one of the coldest times of the year, when we need it most, wind is generating over a third of Britain’s power needs, setting a new clean energy record. It’s yet another demonstration of how our energy mix is shifting to renewables, with onshore and offshore wind in the vanguard.

“This transition is set to continue apace; we’re currently finalising a sector deal that will see offshore wind alone generating at least a third of our electricity by 2030. This will secure £48bn of new investment and support 27,000 highly-skilled jobs.

“Onshore wind is already the cheapest source of new power in the UK and can make a major contribution to meeting our carbon reduction targets and keeping bills down”.

In September, RenewableUK hailed a “historic milestone” as the country’s wind generation passed 20 gigawatts.

In 1921 Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the photoelectric effect – and hence, solar panels.

Renewable UK said the milestone showed “phenomenal growth” in the sector, coinciding with the trade body’s 40th anniversary.

Wind power accounted for half of all power coming from UK renewables in 2017.

The first commercial wind farm went operational in 1991, with wind deployment climbing to 5GW by 2010.

In January, turbine blades at Aberdeen Bay windfarm clocked record speeds during gale force winds, the project operator Vattenfall confirmed.

Storm winds which battered Scotland averaged up to 67mph in the north-east, causing the world’s most powerful blades to hit a top speed of 192mph.

It’s understood the 262 foot rotor blades at the site, also known as the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), managed to complete a six second rotation, resulting in near 200mph speeds.