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New wind energy record set on blustery Bank Holiday

06 May 2021

Figures from the National Grid show that British wind farms set a new record over the Bank Holiday by generating a new high of 17.6 gigawatts (GW) at 3.30pm, providing 48.4% of Britain’s electricity.

Shutterstock image
Shutterstock image

RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Melanie Onn said: “On a wet and unseasonably cold May Bank Holiday, Britain’s wind farms generated a record amount of clean power just when we needed it most to stay warm and dry.

“The fact that wind is generating nearly half the country’s electricity shows how central it has become in our modern energy system.

“The UK’s healthy pipeline of wind energy projects set to be built onshore and offshore will help us to reach the Government’s target of net zero emissions as fast as possible, and as we ramp up our renewable energy capacity we can expect fresh records in the years ahead”.   

David Hall, VP Power Systems at Schneider Electric said: “Renewable energy is fast becoming the default source of UK power, as evidenced by record breaking Bank Holidays in April and May. The UK’s ambition is clear, with targets to reach 30GW of energy generation from offshore wind farms by 2030 and 75GW by 2050. The continued growth is helping to lock in a ‘renewables first’ mindset that would have sounded unachievable even just five years ago. 

“The upgrade of our national energy grid is a matter of urgency to keep pace with this demand for renewable energy sources. Our electrical infrastructure is not future-proofed to cope with the variable flow of power coming from alternative and decentralised energy sources such as offshore wind farms and roof solar panels, or the increasing number of microgrids.

“Mounting pressure from consumers, investors and governments is driving the shift away from the age of fire, to the age of digital energy. With the increasing pace of digital innovation and growing interest from investors, the UK can lead the world by setting the standards for a new “green grid” that provides reliable, resilient power while helping to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis.”

More information from National Grid ESO on this record is available here.

This beats the previous record of 17.5GW set on 13th February.

The highest percentage of GB electricity ever generated is 60%, set in the early hours of Wednesday 26th August (14.2GW). More details on the percentage record are available here.

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