U.K.-based wind energy unexpectedly filled a gap in generation caused by several reactors being unavailable, as well as a fire at a gas-powered station. In the process, wind energy supplied nearly one-quarter of the country's electricity supply, setting a new record.
According to advocacy group RenewableU.K., wind was needed to fulfill a sudden drop off in gas power caused by a fire at power station, which has a capacity of up to 1.3 GW. There are also four nuclear plants currently offline due to unplanned outages and refueling, which removed 5.3 GW of generating capacity from the system.
According to National Grid, wind energy provided 24% of the UK's electricity supply on Oct. 19. The previous record was 22% of total generation set in August. On Oct. 18, wind power set a new peak record of generating 7.9 GW over a half-hour period at midday once local turbines are factored in.
With wind power outperforming nuclear power from the evening of Oct. 17 through the morning of Oct. 20, several coal-fired power stations were also taken offline as they were surplus to requirements, notes RenewableU.K.
‘This year has seen successive new records for wind generation, and this latest evidence shows it's more than capable of stepping in when traditional sources of generation go offline without warning,’ says Jennifer Webber, director of external affairs at RenewableU.K. ‘As we can expect more of these outages in the future, it's reassuring to know we have wind filling the energy gap.’