The wind generation record was beaten for the third time in 2022 on 30 December, according to National Grid ESO.
Generation hit 20.918GW in the half-hour period between 6 and 6.30pm on Friday, creeping past the previous record of 20.896GW set on 2 November. This itself broke a record set just the week before on 26 October with 19.936GW generated by wind.
“The fact that the UK’s onshore and offshore wind farms keep setting new electricity generation records shows just how important this technology has become in our modern energy system. Wind power is playing a central role in keeping UK homes and businesses powered up at the coldest time of the year,” said RenewableUK’s CEO Dan McGrail.
“Wind is now the UK’s cheapest source of new power, so every unit of electricity we generate from it helps consumers by reducing ultra-expensive gas imports. Investing in more wind and other renewables is vital in tackling the cost of living crisis for hard-pressed bill payers.”
On 30 December an additional record was set for the percentage of low-carbon electricity – renewables and nuclear – generated in a half-hour period, which hit 87.2%.
Over the course of the day in total, 61.4% of Britain’s electricity came from wind generation, helping to finish the year on a green note.
“It’s great to see that we’ve also set a new record of nearly 90% of our electricity generated by low carbon sources, as it demonstrates the enormous amount of progress which the UK has made in moving away from fossil fuels, getting us closer to our net zero goal,” added McGrail.
Renewable generation had a strong 2022, despite wider challenges in the energy sector in the UK and beyond. Analysis from Imperial College London from Drax Electric Insight for example suggested that renewables accounted for 40% of Britain’s electricity mix last year, with the segment having more than quadrupled over the last decade.
The UK has a target date of 2035 to totally decarbonise its electricity system, with an interim target of running for periods at net zero by 2025. According to National Grid ESO in 2021, the system is on track to reach this interim target.