Yet another milestone was achieved in the UK this week when the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo swept through the country and increased wind energy’s contribution to the electricity grid to just over 14%. Although this took place on October 21 and over a 24 hour period, it is still an indication of the power of wind.
When electricity demand was low this past weekend, wind energy accounted for a whopping 20% of power and a total of 6,372 MW.
The BBC reported that “The energy network operator said it was caused by a combination of high winds and faults in nuclear plants.
Wind farms are causing controversy in rural areas and the government is choking off planning permission for new sites.
But for a 24-hour period yesterday, spinning blades produced more energy than splitting atoms.”
To be fair, nuclear power was lower than normal, but it was because 15 of the UK’s reactors were down for maintenance purposes. However, it does show that wind energy plays a bigger role in UK’s energy mix than it is being given credit for.
The BBC report wrote that, “A government spokesman said a “diverse energy mix” was essential to the UK’s energy security.
“We’re preventing a predicted energy crunch by turning round a legacy of underinvestment and neglect.
“To deliver this, we need a diverse energy mix that includes renewable sources like wind and solar alongside nuclear and technologies like carbon capture and storage so we can continue to use fossil fuels in a cleaner way.”
I hope these examples of wind energy production will show the UK, and the world, that there is a place for wind in the energy mix.