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Wind Power Outshines Natural Gas in UK's Power Mix

Wind power generated as much as 41.2% of Britain’s electricity in December, its highest monthly share ever, thanks to milder and windy weather, data from the UK’s National Grid ESO showed

In December, wind was the UK’s largest source of generation, accounting for 41.2% of electricity, followed by natural gas with a share of 25.8% of power generation—its lowest level since March 2020, when the system operator began publishing the monthly electricity statistics.   

The UK ended 2023 with the greenest month of the year and a new wind record set on December 21. Britain achieved a new maximum wind record of 21.8 gigawatts (GW) of electricity on December 21 between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Wind accounted for 56% of Great Britain’s electricity generation during this period.  

In addition, high levels of wind throughout December helped 60% of electricity last month to come from zero-carbon sources, peaking at 87% on December 28 at 2 p.m. December was the greenest month of the year with electricity being generated at an average of 122 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). 

Coal accounted for 1.2% of Britain’s power generation last month, compared to a 5.2% share during the same month five years ago, National Grid ESO said.

For the full-year 2023, gas accounted for 32% of UK’s electricity, followed by wind with a share of 29.4%, and nuclear with 14.2%, National Grid said in its 2023 electricity review.

Britain has now installed more wind capacity than any other type of power source, with wind power capacity overtaking combined-cycle gas power stations for the first time and ending more than a century of fossil fuels dominating the electricity system, a report prepared for power group Drax showed in September.    

So far this month, gas has generated more electricity than wind, due to the cold snap with lower wind speeds that has gripped northwestern Europe. On Monday, January 8, gas generated 46.7% of British electricity, more than wind 28.1% and nuclear 9.5%, per data from National Grid ESO. 

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • George Doolittle on January 11 2024 said:
    Wind never stops blowing in Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota and Iowa...along with a lot of other places in the USA of course. Texas Wind has long since "blown away" natural gas co-gen the latter of which has blown away coal as a major source of electricity for the USA. Natural gas still has absolutely stupendous demand in the USA for other reasons but with two nuclear plants coming online in Georgia and Duke Energy saying they want to do that as well and hard to see where the positives are for both coal and natural in the USA is at the moment other than as a massive export commodity and even rocket fuel now. Canada making "nuclear noises" as well given how successful bringing Finland nuclear power for Northern Europe has been.
  • Kris Poole on January 10 2024 said:
    At what price? Who can afford this BS$$. What happens, when there is no winds for 1 month or longer? What happens, when there is no sunshine? Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice ....NOT really you can't fool me again. It's all cooked up BS$$ by the global religion of climate change, for the purpose of fear and control.

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