Official government figures have shown that Britain's wind farms hit new records for electricity generation last year. The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero revealed that wind-generated power produced nearly a quarter of the country's total energy needs last year, at 80.2TWh (24.6% of the total), an increase from 64.7TWh or 21% in 2021. The figure was an all-time high for a share of clean energy that has been steadily growing as the technology has evolved, turbine costs have lowered and funding has become more available.
Offshore wind generated a record 45TWh in 2021, from 35.5TWh the previous year. Onshore also achieved record levels, at 35TWh, or 10.8% of Britain's total power. The increase in percentage was powered by a substantial addition of new turbines across British waters, with 3193MW of new turbine infrastructure brought into operation. For onshore wind, 318MW of new onshore capacity was added, running behind because of planning application challenges.
Overall, 41.4% of the UK's electricity was generated from renewable energy last year, while nuclear and renewables produced another record of 56%. Ana Musat, the Executive Director of RenewableUK, said that the record-smashing figures demonstrated that wind energy was already playing a key role in the UK's clean energy mix, allowing Britain's powerful natural resources to be leveraged to power homes and businesses.
She added that wind remains the cheapest source of energy in the UK and every unit generated relieves the pressure to burn fossil fuels. She added that wind energy remained the route to removing dependence on volatile, expensive gas imports and the route to reducing Britain's energy bills overall.
RenewablesUK is urging the government to stimulate investment to encourage the growth of home-grown renewables with strong international competition risking attracting entrepreneurs overseas.