The windy introduction to the UK summer may have been a curse for some, but for the first time ever, it has assisted in setting a new record in renewable power production.
The statistics released by The National Grid on Wednesday afternoon show that wind, hydro, solar and nuclear power each generated a total of 50.7% (35.4GW) of the UK’s demand energy, which is more electricity than coal and gas combined.
— Drax (@Draxnews) June 7, 2017
Despite the drop in the amount of money invested in renewable energy in 2016, the capacity of low carbon sourced energy has globally increased. This is more than likely due to the reduced cost of production and construction of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar farms.
Emma Pinchbeck, who heads up renewable energy trade body RenewableUK, said: “National Grid is confirming that low-carbon sources are generating 70pc of our electricity – with wind power the star amongst these sources.”
High-speed winds and an increase in wind farm production across Europe has also set records for countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. This breakthrough of recent statistics has lead many other counties to install more renewables. So much so, that alliances between Germany, Denmark, and Belgium have been set to install a wind farm off the EU coast to increase the whole of the offshore wind capacity by 500 percent.
In addition to the benefits that it provides energy sustainability, experts at EnAPPSys stated that the huge amount of energy generated by wind farms across north-west Europe, both land and on sea, had caused power prices to fall drastically to a tenth of the original cost for the individual consumer.
“It’s a sign of how things are changing – coal is coming off and renewables are growing,” said Maf Smith, the deputy chief executive of trade body RenewableUK.
The falling market prices of wind and solar energy production has sparked a new era of renewables. A step in the right direction to combating many issues which the environment and governments face. Emma Pinchbeck states that “incoming government should be proud of what the wind sector has achieved in the UK, and work with the industry to ensure that these record-breaking days for wind energy generation become our new norm.”
Currently, the largest and most powerful wind turbine stands at 8MW each, off the coast of Liverpool. Germany’s Senvion is developing a turbine at 10MW. Finally the US company GE is working on a 12MW turbine. The continuation of developing more efficient renewables at a cheaper marketed rate is increasing. The daunting outlook on depleting fossil fuels could diminish and the future could head towards a greener generation.