ees 2019
29 September 2018 2018 12:49 PM GMT

UK Wind Generation Capacity Smashes Through 20 Gigawatt Mark

RenewableUK has announced that the UK has hit a historic milestone of 20 gigawatts (20,000 megawatts) of wind generation capacity. The opening of Ørsted’s 659MW Walney Extension off the coast of Cumbria this month pushed the total amount over the 20GW mark.

Total operational capacity of onshore and offshore wind generation in the UK currently stands at 20,128MW, which is enough to meet the annual power needs of more than 14 million homes, cutting carbon emissions by 25 million tonnes a year. Wind is the UK’s largest source of renewable electricity, accounting for half of the 30% of power that came from renewables in 2017.

The UK’s first commercial onshore wind farm, Delabole in Cornwall, went operational in 1991, and the first offshore wind project in Blyth began generating in 2000. Initially, wind deployment climbed slowly to 1GW in 2005 and grew to 5GW in 2010, before expanding rapidly to 10GW in 2013 and 15GW in early 2017. A further 5GW, a quarter of total wind energy capacity, came on line in the last 21 months, to push the UK above the 20GW mark this month.

This new milestone coincides with the 40th anniversary of the founding of the wind industry trade body RenewableUK, which originally founded as the British Wind Energy Association by a group of engineers and academics meeting at the Rutherford Laboratory in Oxfordshire in November 1978.

Commenting on the announcement, RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck said:

“It took 19 years to install the first 5GW of wind energy in the UK and we’ve now installed the same amount in under two years. That phenomenal growth shows just how quickly the UK is moving to a smart, low carbon power system and wind energy is at the heart of that.

“Over half of the UK’s wind generation capacity is onshore, which is the cheapest option for new power. However, Government policy preventing onshore wind from competing for new power contracts means that consumers will miss out on low-cost power that will keep bills down.

“It was the opening of the world’s largest offshore wind farm that has took us over the 20GW mark. We’re confident that offshore wind generation alone can reach at least 30GW by 2030 to become the backbone of a clean, reliable and affordable energy system.”

Image: Courtesy of Renewable UK

  1. RenewableUK’s members are building the future energy system, powered by clean electricity. It brings them together to deliver that future faster; a future which is better for industry, billpayers, and the environment. It supports over 400 member companies to ensure increasing amounts of renewable electricity are deployed across the UK and access markets to export all over the world. Its members are business leaders, technology innovators, and expert thinkers from right across industry. It is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
  2. New renewable energy capacity is secured by Government through competitive auctions for power contracts (Contracts for Difference) which were established in 2013.  Since 2015, onshore wind has been excluded from Contracts for Difference auctions.
March 23rd 2019
Battery Boom: Wind And Solar Can Generate Half Of Worldwide Electricity By 2050

Coal is to shrink to just 11% of global electricity generation by mid-century, from 38% now, as costs shift heavily in favour of wind, solar and batteries. Wind and solar are set to surge to almost “50 by 50” – 50% of world generation by 2050 due to reductions in cost. “Cheap battery storage means that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing market for coal, gas and nuclear.”

March 23rd 2019
EU Approves Ambitious Energy Efficiency Goals, Encourages Clean Energy Feed-In

Europeans will now be entitled to consume, store and sell the renewable energy they produce in line with ambitious targets set by the EU. The targets are to be reviewed by 2023, and can only be raised, not lowered. By making energy more efficient, Europeans will see their energy bills reduced. In addition, Europe will reduce its reliance on external suppliers of oil and gas, improve local air quality and protect the climate. For the first time, member states will also be obliged to establish specific energy efficiency measures to the benefit of those affected by energy poverty. Member states must also ensure that citizens are entitled to generate renewable energy for their own consumption, to store it and to sell excess production.

January 24th 2019
Clean Energy: Most Competitive Source of New Power Generation in the Middle East

Renewable energy is the most competitive form of power generation in GCC countries, according to a new report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). It says that achieving stated 2030 targets brings significant economic benefits to the region including the creation of more than 220 000 new jobs whilst saving over 354 million barrels of oil equivalent (MBOE) in regional power sectors. Furthermore, the power sector’s CO2 emissions can be reduced by 136 million tonnes (22%), while water withdrawals in the power sector can be cut by 11.5 trillion litres (17% reduction) in 2020.

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