Renewable energy: Wind power in the UK for the first time the largest source of electricity

Renewable energy: Wind power in the UK for the first time the largest source of electricity

The UK has seen the first quarter since the start of electrification, in which wind power accounted for the largest share of the national electricity mix. The energy company Drax explained the change at the top with a slight increase in wind power with a simultaneous decrease in the amount of electricity generated from natural gas. Wind power has thus made it from 5th place to the top within eight years. At the same time, coal fell from first to eighth place. In Germany, wind power had an almost as high share in the first quarter and renewable energy sources even supplied more than half of the electricity generated, but coal, which is particularly harmful to the climate, also had a share of 29.2 percent.

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UK electricity mix since 2010

(Bild: Drax Electric Insights)

Iain Staffell from Imperial College London, who conducted the evaluation for Drax, speaks of a revolution and the British electricity market has been radically redesigned. Within a decade, the UK has almost completely phased itself out of fossil fuels after coal powered the country for over a century. The fact that wind has now overtaken natural gas is a real milestone that shows what can be achieved when governments create the right conditions for investment in clean technologies. There is now only one active coal-fired power plant in Great Britain, while what was once the largest in North Yorkshire only burns biomass.

In total, according to the report, 24 TWh of electricity was generated from wind power in the first three months of the year, another 4.2 TWh came from biomass, 1.7 TWh from solar systems and 1.1 TWh from hydroelectric power. Together, that was almost 42 percent of the total electricity consumed. The remainder came mainly from gas (23.4 TWh), imports (9.2 TWh) and nuclear energy (9.2 TWh). In Germany came the renewables according to the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management 47 percent of the electricity generated and over 50 percent of the electricity consumed in the same period. In addition to 44.8 TWh of wind power, this primarily included 7.8 TWh of solar power, 11.3 TWh from biomass and 4.3 TWh from hydropower. Coal accounted for 43 TWh, gas for 23.3 TWh and nuclear energy, which has since expired, for 6.2 TWh.

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Overall, wind power is by far the largest renewable energy source in both Germany and Great Britain. However, the share of the others in the national electricity mix is ​​noticeably larger in this country. But while Great Britain has continued to bid farewell to coal even after Russia’s war of aggression began, it has made a comeback here. With that according to the Federal Statistical Office compensated for the decline in electricity generation from natural gas and nuclear energy last year. The latter has meanwhile said goodbye in Germany, while it is still number 4 in Great Britain. However, imported electricity has become the fourth largest source on the island, with Germany exporting 21.6 TWh in the same period. This corresponds to more than half of all electricity generated from coal.

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An interactive graphic is included in the article, which is created and delivered by the Berlin service provider Datawrapper. For data protection at Datawrapper see their Data protection. Personal or personally identifiable data from readers of the interactive charts is not collected.


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