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Britain sees out the year with clean power records amid windy weather

Windy weather at the end of 2022 helped set new records for clean power as the year drew to a close, figures show.

On December 30, a new record for wind generation was set, with 20.91 gigawatts (GW) of power coming from offshore and onshore wind turbines, Britain’s grid operator confirmed.

It was the third time Britain’s fleet of wind turbines set new generation records in 2022.

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A new record was also set for the share of electricity on the grid coming from zero carbon sources  – renewables and nuclear – which supplied 87.2% of total power, National Grid ESO said.

It shows the British grid is getting closer to times when there will be 100% zero carbon operation.

The records were set amid windy weather and low electricity use, the operator said.

The annual share of UK generation coming from zero carbon sources – renewables and nuclear – has been around 55% to 59% over the past couple of years.

While renewable power generation fluctuates with the weather, increasing amounts of wind capacity is being installed across the UK.

Industry body RenewableUK’s chief executive, Dan McGrail, said the latest record for wind showed how important the technology had become in the UK’s modern energy system, and was keeping homes and businesses powered up at the coldest time of the year.

“Wind is now the UK’s cheapest source of new power, so every unit of electricity we generate from it helps consumers by reducing ultra-expensive gas imports,” he said.

“Investing in more wind and other renewables is vital in tackling the cost-of-living crisis for hard-pressed bill payers.”

He added: “It’s great to see that we’ve also reached a new daily high of nearly 90% of our electricity generated by low carbon sources, as it demonstrates the enormous amount of progress which the UK has made in moving away from fossil fuels, getting us closer to our net-zero goal”.