August was an exceptional month for wind energy, with new records set and generation levels exceeding both nuclear and coal, according to National Grid statistics cited by RenewableUK.
On five separate occasions in August, RenewableUK says wind overtook coal-fired plants for generation over a single day: the 3rd, 9th, 11th, 12th and 17th of the month. This strong performance continued toward the end of the month when onshore and offshore wind generated more than the U.K.'s nuclear fleet on Aug. 29 (5,805 MW from wind compared to 5,379 MW for nuclear).
On Aug. 11, wind also set a new daily record when it provided 21% of the U.K.'s electricity needs. Then on Aug. 17, wind broke the record again, setting a new figure of 22%. Before August, the daily record was set on Dec. 20, 2013, and stood at 20%.
According to RenewableUK, this was also the best-performing August to date, with total wind generation at 10% – close behind the 13% record set during December 2013.
"Wind energy is taking its place as the U.K.'s new powerhouse, overtaking coal and nuclear as one of the most important resources we have to keep Britain's lights on," says Jennifer Webber, RenewableUK's director of external affairs. "It continues to surpass its own records, and these figures prove that can happen at any time of [the] year. As we approach autumn and winter, we can expect wind to maintain this strong performance and provide electricity when demand is especially high."