Britain generated more electricity from wind farms in the first three months of this year than ever before, as “exceptionally windy” weather boosted output, analysis suggests. More than 11.3 terawatt-hours of electricity were produced in the first quarter, accounting for an estimated 14 per cent of the generation mix, according to Enappsys, the energy data analysts. That beat previous records of 10TW-hours in the first quarter of 2015 and 12.2 per cent of the mix from wind in the fourth quarter of 2015. The output over the past three months was also a 23 per cent increase on the fourth quarter of 2016 and 31 per cent above the same period last year because “wind speeds were particularly high”, Enappsys said. Britain has continued to build onshore and offshore farms since the records were set in 2015. It now has more than 5,800 onshore turbines, capable of generating 9.5 gigawatts of power at full output. There are almost 1,500 turbines in the sea capable of generating more than 5GW. Enappsys said that the windy weather helped to reduce power prices, pulling them back 10 per cent from the fourth quarter when low wind power and problems with Britain’s subsea power link to France led to concerns about shortages.
Times 11th April 2017 read more »
AROUND HALF of all the jobs and turnover in onshore wind energy sector across the UK is in Scotland despite Tory cuts, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The number of workers in Scotland employed directly and indirectly in the low carbon and renewables sector rose to 58,500 in 2015, a rise from 43,500 employed the year before. According to figures from the ONS the low carbon and renewables sector generated £10.5bn. Despite this growth, the industry lies in jeopardy after cuts to energy subsidies by the UK Government which have slowed incentives to build more windfarms offshore and have threatened Scotland’s status as a renewables leader. The Scottish Tories have also maintained its position that support for wind power would be “singled minded” and have stuck to their policy plan of building two new nuclear plants on the existing sites of Hunterson and Torness. In 2015, the Scottish Tories came out in support of the UK Government decision to end the subsidy for windfarm projects. Murdo Fraser, the Scottish Tories economy spokesperson stated that renewable energy in Scotland could continue to thrive without the need for UK Government subsidy. However, despite this statement and the recent ONS figures a recent report showed that renewables companies expected to lose one in six workers within the next 12 months.
CommonSpace 10th April 2017 read more »