UK Wind Power Roars To Record Output

December was an extremely windy month in the United Kingdom, resulting in wind farms supplying a record high of 12.2 percent of the U.K.’s electricity demand on December 28, and an average of 5.3 percent of demand over the entire month. That surge in wind power helped the U.K. cut its carbon emissions by over 750,000 tons – equivalent to taking over 300,000 cars off the road.

Wind power is accounting for an increasing proportion of the U.K.’s energy supply (maybe that’s what inspired the recent, seemingly desperate high-profile attack on wind). Two U.K. wind power developers have already hit the 1-gigawatt (GW) mark in installed capacity, and the trend shows no sign of slowing. According to new figures released by the the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC), the U.K. now has enough wind power to keep the lights on at more than 3.3 million homes.

sse-wind

image via SSE

Last year alone, the U.K. experienced a 64 percent increase in offshore wind power generation – largely accounted for by the Ormonde and Greater Gabbard offshore wind farms, which were partially completed and commissioned in 2011. That pair accounted for two-thirds of the overall increase in renewable energy capacity in the U.K. last year.

Lauren Craig is a writer and consultant living in Seattle, WA. She holds an M.S. in International Development from Tulane University, and is co-founder of Sustainable Systems Integrators, LLC., an employee-owned solar energy design and installation firm in New Orleans, LA. She is also certified in PV design and installation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).