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Nuclear outages prevent Britain from witnessing ‘landmark’ quarter for renewables

Image: Getty.

Image: Getty.

Outages at two nuclear power plants in Great Britain prevented the country from experiencing a “landmark” quarter for renewables, energy analysis firm EnAppSys has said.

Analysis conducted by EnAppSys found that throughout Q3, found that renewables output reached 24.4TWh, just shy of topping the 25.1TWh of power generated from fossil fuel plant in the three-month period ended September.

EnAppSys has however concluded that were it not for prolonged outages at nuclear facilities in the country, which resulted in a heightened demand for alternative power generation, renewables could well have topped it.

This has been aided by a “steady stream” of new offshore wind farms coming on line, EnAppSys said, which saw renewables output climb 13% year-on-year and 5% sequentially, bucking the trend for renewable power to slide in Q3 due to lower wind speeds.

Nuclear output however fell some 20% year-on-year to 12.8TWh, prompting a run on gas-fired generation to meet demand.

Paul Verrill, director at EnAppSys, said it was now “only a matter of time” before renewables topped fossil fuels and became Britain’s “dominant” source of power.

“In particular, with further new CfD contracts recently being awarded, we are set to see significant further growth in future offshore wind capacity over the coming years.

“These strong levels of renewable generation, supported by falling gas prices, also contributed to declining prices in the power market over the three months – a feature that led to an 11% drop in power imports from Ireland and the continent,” he said.

Official statistics for Q3 2019 from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are to be published in December.


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