For the first time ever, Britain has more wind capacity than natural gas hooked up to the power grid, a new study shows.
(Bloomberg) — For the first time ever, Britain has more wind capacity than natural gas hooked up to the power grid, a new study shows.
The UK’s installed wind capacity reached 27.9 gigawatts in June, compared to 27.7 gigawatts of gas generation, according to an analysis from Imperial College London for Drax Electric Insights.
“This makes Britain only the fifth country in the world to have built more wind farms than any other form of power station,” it said. Drax Group Plc is one of the country’s major power producers.
The UK is among nations accelerating the shift toward clean energy, with a net-zero emissions goal by the middle of the century. However, developers across the region are struggling with higher costs of financing and raw materials for components, posing a challenge for the sustained growth of wind energy.
Read more: European Union Pledges to Help Struggling Wind Energy Industry
Gas was previously the largest source of power capacity in the UK. Some older plants have been retired, while investment in wind soared during the previous decade.
The UK’s electricity output from gas fell by 23% on an annual basis during the second quarter of this year, while coal-fired production declined by about 75% to the lowest level on record, according to the study. Still, gas generation exceeded wind output during the period, due in part to low wind speeds.
The report also found that carbon emissions from electricity production fell to less than 10 million tons in the second quarter of 2023 for only the second time on record — the first being during the Covid lockdown.
–With assistance from Todd Gillespie.
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