UK’s electricity generation from wind overtakes nuclear for first time

The UK’s wind farms produced more electricity than its eight nuclear power plans in the first quarter of 2018, found a report by researchers at Imperial College London.

During the quarter wind power produced 18.8% of the UK’s total electricity, a higher percentage than nuclear energy and second only to gas.

At its peak, wind turbines provided nearly half of the nation’s electricity during the night of March 17, meanwhile two nuclear plants were temporarily offline for routine maintenance and another was shut for an extended period during the quarter.

Although wind and solar together supplied more power than nuclear in the last quarter of 2017, this is the first time that wind energy has alone surpassed the contribution of nuclear to the electricity mix.

A key factor in the strong performance of wind energy in the last quarter was the opening of a new power cable between Scotland and North Wales, which helped connect electricity supplied from Scottish wind farms to the National Grid.

Emma Pinchbeck, executive director at RenewableUK, said: “It is great news for everyone that rather than turning turbines off to manage our ageing grid, the new cable instead will make best use of wind energy.”