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Wind generation hits new peak amidst Beast from the East 2

Wind generation hit a peak of 17.5GW on Saturday 13 February 2021.

Wind generation hit a peak of 17.5GW on Saturday 13 February 2021.

Wind generation has smashed yet another record, hitting a new generation high of 17.5GW this weekend.

As a ‘Beast from the East’ hit the UK over the past week, freezing cold weather and gusty winds caused the Met Office to issue weather warnings.

On Saturday, this weather front led to wind generation breaking the previous record set on December 18 2020, when wind generation hit 17.2GW.

“Records like this show the changing nature of GB electricity, with a reduced reliance on fossil fuels and an increase in electricity coming from zero carbon sources – trends we expect to continue as we move towards our ambition of being able to operate carbon free by 2025,” said Rob Rome, interim head of National Control at National Grid Electricity System Operator.

“As the Electricity System Operator for Great Britain our control room engineers work 24/7, 365 days a year to balance supply and demand and see first-hand how renewables are consistently making up a significant proportion of the power mix - it’s an exciting time and a pivotal part of getting to net-zero by 2050.”

Numerous renewable generation records have been smashed over the past year. Image: National Grid ESO.
Numerous renewable generation records have been smashed over the past year. Image: National Grid ESO.

It follows a record breaking year for wind and renewables more broadly in 2020, with wind alone contributing 59.9% of the electricity mix on August 26.

Last year has been hailed as the greenest ever for the UK’s electricity network, with research from Drax Electric Insights this week showing wind and solar together generated 30% of Britain’s electricity.

This followed similar analysis from National Grid ESO that pointed to records in the stormy first half of 2020, as well as successes like the prolonged coal-free period and solar generation record, with solar peak generation hitting a high in April of 9.68GW.

Wind power in the UK is expected to expand dramatically in the coming years, with Boris Johnson’s 40GW by 2030 target in the Ten Point Plan. Additionally, the inclusion of onshore wind in the Contracts for Difference auction could bolster this segment as well.

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