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Wind power continues to break records as Storm Francis hits UK

Offshore wind power alone is expected to meet over a third of the UK's power needs by 2030.

Offshore wind power alone is expected to meet over a third of the UK's power needs by 2030.

Another new wind generation record has been set in the UK as it continues to be battered by storms.

On Wednesday 26 August, at 01:30 wind met 59.9% of total power demand, contributing 14.2GW out of a total 23.7GW. This beat a record set on Saturday 22 August at 1am, when wind made up 59.1% of Britain's 13.5GW mix, driven by the Storm Ellen.

Storm Francis led to gusts of 80mph in Britain over the last few days, leading wind to generate almost 60% of the mix according to National Grid ESO, while the rest at the time of the record was made up of gas (18.8%), nuclear (15%), biomass (3,1%), imports (2.5%) and hydro/others (0.7%).

Currently in the UK, there is a wind capacity of 24GW, of which 10.4GW is offshore and 13.6GW is onshore. In 2019, this allowed wind power to provide 20% of the country’s power, but this is predicted to grow rapidly to 2030. Over the next decade, offshore wind power alone is expected to meet over a third of the UK's power needs.

RenewableUK’s director of strategic communications Luke Clark said that renewables are breaking records faster than expected, with this recent record "a clear signal of the future of our energy system".

“We need to see a huge increase in low carbon power to meet the UK’s net zero target and if we can ramp up low-cost renewables in the short term, that will boost our economic recovery and speed up the switch to low carbon heating, electric vehicle and investment in new technologies like green hydrogen”.

As the UK looks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic impact, wind power could deliver new investment of £20 billion along with supporting 12,000 jobs according to the trade body.

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