Over half Britain’s daily electricity came from wind power on 28 December for the first time on record. This was partly the consequence of the arrival of Storm Bella, which brought with it gusts of up to 100 mph. Wind power provided 50.7 per cent of Britain’s daily electricity, the first time greater than 50 per cent had been maintained for 24 hours.
While 28 December set a record for the highest share of power generated by windfarms, it was not a record for the most power they have ever supplied. That was set earlier in December, when windfarms delivered 17.3 GW. Because there was higher demand at the time, the percentage share of total power generation on this occasion was 40 per cent.
The record follows several new low-carbon records set in 2020, as Covid-19 restrictions depressed power demand, helping wind and solar gain a larger share of the energy mix. Fossil fuels have been increasingly edged out as a result.
Gas and coal power plants made up 36 per cent of electricity generated in Britain in the year up to 21 December 2020, according to data from National Grid , down from 46 per cent in 2019. Wind and solar delivered 29 per cent of electricity, up from 23 per cent last year, according to the early data report.