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News from the UK Power Industry 19th March 2019

Posted by: James Turner
19/03/2019
Industry News

Stormy weather sees week-long power surge

As the stormy weather shows no signs of letting up, RenewableUK reports that wind farms were responsible for generating more electricity than any other source in the UK for seven consecutive days. 

Between 8th – 14th March, the UK’s wind parks produced 35.6% of the country's total electricity, with offshore wind alone accounting for 21.4%. The performance is in contrast to gas power which generated 31.2% over the same period and the 21.3% that was generated by the nuclear industry. 

The figures come as no surprise thanks to recent windy weather, and as conditions look set to continue we can expect to see another productive week for the wind sector moving forward.

Emma Pinchbeck, RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive, said: “We’ve had a very blustery week, and that’s good news because wind has outstripped every other power source. These figures highlight how the country’s modern energy mix is changing, with low-cost wind energy becoming the backbone of our clean energy system. It’s further proof that wind is playing a central role in keeping Britain powered up at a chilly time of the year.”

The windy weather not only helps the UK produce more energy, but it also keeps the sector environmentally friendly. The increased wind power output in last week contributed to achieving lower-than-usual CO2 emissions from the power sector for this time of the year, according to Electric Insights, who reported figures of 157 g/kWh.

Last week we reported on the Government’s Sector Deal which looks set to triple industry jobs. Navartis Business Manager and Power Recruitment Specialist James Turner commented: “These figures just go to show that the Power industry is smart to place a focus on renewable energy as it means we can capitalise on the windy weather the UK experiences at this time of year.” Full story.

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Images from metoffice.gov.uk

Wind power: the future of UK energy

Dr Jonathan Marshall, head of analysis at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, has provided insight into the wind sector, stating: “Renewables are the future – the low-cost, low-carbon option to keep British lights on. With onshore wind now far cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives, and solar and offshore wind fast catching up, there seems little doubt in where we are heading.”

Marshall goes on to praise the UK market and say that he expects the UK to remain at the front of the clean power pack. 2019 is poised to be the year that sees the industry move to a new level thanks to a rise in government investment; analysts expect the global market to be worth £30bn by 2030, with national and export opportunities for UK firms worth close to £5bn.

“Better technology means bigger turbines, towering hundreds of metres above the sea,” Marshall said when talking about industry innovations. “Bigger blades that sweep a larger area allow turbines to operate when windspeeds are lower, producing a more reliable supply and adding another nail into the coffin of the idea that renewables will lead to blackouts.”

Marshall concludes by saying: “Nearly a third of British power last year was from renewable sources, without a capacity crisis in sight. This isn’t due to the blustery British weather alone, but to innovative industries and technologies jumping on new markets that are opened up by the variable output of wind and solar power.”

Recent analysis by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) showed that renewables would be key to subsidising the energy market as the nuclear sector decommissions a number of its larger power plants in favour of smaller stations. This goes to highlight that the UK energy industry is perfectly positioned to handle the natural transition towards renewable energy and is prepared to lead the charge for the global industry. Full story.

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