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The UK’s growing fleet of wind turbines generated more electricity than gas-fired power stations in the first three months of this year, according to new data released by Drax.
Almost a third (32.4 per cent) of the UK’s electricity was supplied from wind power during the first quarter of 2023, outpacing gas which delivered 31.7 per cent.
The findings have been released ahead of the next installment of the quarterly Drax Electric Insights report.
The publication is an independent report by academics from Imperial College London commissioned through Imperial Consultants.
Across the three months, Britain’s turbines generated 24 TWh of electricity – enough to charge more than 300m Tesla Model Ys.
Output from wind was three per cent higher than during the same quarter last year, while gas was down five per cent.
Almost 42 per cent of Britain’s electricity came from renewable sources (wind, solar, biomass, and hydro) in the first three months of 2023.
Fossil fuels supplied 33 per cent, with the rest coming from imports from abroad and the country’s shrinking nuclear fleet.
The UK now has just one coal-fired power station left following Drax ending the use of the fuel at its plant in North Yorkshire last month.
Over the last decade four of the power station’s six generating units have been converted to use sustainable biomass, burning imported wood pellets in former coal terminals.
Lead author of the report, Dr Iain Staffell of Imperial College London, said: “In the space of a decade the UK has almost completely cut out coal, after relying on the most polluting fossil fuel for over a century to power our country.
“There are still many hurdles to reaching a completely fossil fuel-free grid, but wind out supplying gas for the first time is a genuine milestone event, and shows what can be achieved when governments create a good environment for investors in clean technology.”
The government is currently targeting a vast ramp up in wind power – including boosting offshore wind from 14GW to 50GW over the current decade and is looking to reform planning restrictions around onshore wind developments.
By Nicholas Earl via CityAM
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