Wind power generation in the UK hit new heights in 2022 as the latest figures for December have shown. Supplies for the clean energy source were greatly boosted by turbines in offshore and onshore locations, with National Grid recording a new record on 30th December. Turbines on this date generated a whopping 20.91 GW of wind energy.
The record was actually the third set by wind turbines in the UK in 2022. National Grid was forced to ask some Scottish turbines to shut down in May after its network found itself short of capacity to handle the full amount of clean energy being produced - a then-record of 19.9 GW of power which was equal to the power needed to boil 3.5 million kettles.
A new record was also recorded for the share of zero-carbon energy sources - which include nuclear power. These supplied 87 per cent of the UK's total power needs last year, compared to around 56 per cent for 2020 and 2021.
This rapid growth in wind power generation is a notable reversal in fortunes for the energy industry. As the UK experienced its cold snap, low winds meant that the UK's windfarms almost ceased producing any energy at all. Coal-fired power plants in Yorkshire, operated by Drax, were placed on emergency standby - but ultimately were not required. Gas-fired power generation was instead responsible for around 60 per cent of the country's energy output at key periods of high demand.
Recent mild weather across the UK and Europe has meant that consumer demand has dropped, and wholesale gas prices have fallen too. The milder weather has also cut the risks of national power cuts, which National Grid had previously warned were likely to be on the cards.