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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.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.