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Boxing Day sets new record for wind power generation in Britain

Storm Bella heralds first 24-hour period where turbines supply more than half of country’s electricity

Daisy Dunne
Climate Correspondent
Monday 28 December 2020 16:48 GMT
Storm Bella saw yet another record broken for wind power generation
Storm Bella saw yet another record broken for wind power generation (Getty/iStock)

Boxing Day saw yet another record broken for wind power generation in Britain.

It was the first 24-hour period where wind farms supplied more than half of the country’s electricity, according to data from Drax Electric Insights.

Renewable power generation was boosted by Storm Bella, which brought powerful winds to many parts of the UK. This included the Isle of Wight, which recorded winds of more than 100mph overnight on Boxing Day.

According to Drax Electric Insights, wind farms supplied 50.7 per cent of Britain’s power on Boxing Day. In addition, nuclear power generated 21.1 per cent of Britain’s electricity, while fossil gas provided 14.6 per cent.

A Drax Electric Insights spokesperson said: “Britain has experienced a renewables revolution over the last decade with the growth of biomass, wind and solar power.

“More than half of Britain’s electricity was generated by wind power on Boxing Day this year, this is the first time ever wind has supplied the majority of the country’s power over the course of a whole day.”

It beats the previous record for the proportion of power supplied by wind farms over a 24-hour period in Britain, which was made on 21 August of this year. On this day, wind farms supplied 50 per cent of Britain’s electricity.

Last week, another record was broken when Britain’s wind farms generated 17.2GW of electricity from 1-1.30pm on 18 December. This was the highest amount of power ever generated by Britain’s wind farms.

Boris Johnson has previously promised to make the UK the “Saudia Arabia of wind power” by ensuring every house in the UK is powered by offshore wind by 2030.

Setting out his plans in October, the prime minister said: “We believe that in 10 years’ time offshore wind will be powering every home in the country, with our target rising from 30GW to 40GW.

“Your kettle, your washing machine, your cooker, your heating, your plug-in electric vehicle – the whole lot of them will get their juice cleanly and without guilt from the breezes that blow around these islands.”

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