Report_ UK ‘wasted’ enough wind energy to power 1.2 million homes this winter

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New analysis from consultancy Stonehaven, on behalf of energy storage developer Highview Vitality, claims that the UK wasted enough wind power between October 2022 and January 2023 to supply energy for 1.2 million UK homes. Over the similar timeframe, the analysis claims that the UK important £60bn in gasoline.

The analysis studied Ofgem statistics for household electrical power use, grid-scale estimates from a 2022 Aurora analysis, and wind estimates based on balancing markets bid volumes revealed by Elexon.

Highview Vitality found that low-carbon power accounted for 82.5% of the UK’s electrical power expertise between 27 December to 9 January. However, the UK moreover expert a ‘dunkelflaute’ over the winter months, which suggests that whereas chilly, the nation expert little to no wind nonetheless nonetheless needed energy for heating.

Between October 2022 and January 2023, the UK was unable to retailer as lots as 1.35 TWh of wind all through peak circumstances, enough to power 1.2 million homes. This wind may’ve been used to power homes all through chilly days with no wind.

Highview Vitality claims that the UK in its place wanted to rely upon £60bn of abroad imports of gasoline. Figures from the Office for Nationwide Statistics reveal the UK imported virtually £20bn of gasoline in 2021 as a whole, a 312% enhance on the £4.8bn from 2020.

Highview Vitality’s chief authorities, Rupert Pearce acknowledged: “Renewable energy storage is essential to powering a cleaner, cheaper, always-on Britain. By capturing and storing additional renewable energy, which is now the UK’s least costly, most secure and most appreciable kind of energy, we’ll power Britain’s homes and firms with renewable inexperienced energy, taking hundreds and hundreds of tonnes of carbon out of the setting and ending a convention of reliance on pricey abroad imports.

“Prolonged-duration energy storage can underpin the UK’s world foremost place on renewables, velocity up the ability transition, create lots of of British clear energy jobs and talents, decrease UK shopper funds and in the reduction of our dependence on abroad gasoline.”

Renewables are presently essentially the most reasonably priced kind {of electrical} power throughout the UK, at £60 per MWh, compared with gasoline imports which peaked at better than £3,000 per MWh remaining yr.

Wind worries

The claims from Highview Vitality arrive on the similar day that enterprise physique RenewableUK warned that current planning processes for onshore wind duties are stifling functionality and hindering progress in path of the nation’s wind targets.

RenewableUK confirmed {{that a}} full of three,511MW of newest wind functionality was added remaining yr – enough to power better than 3.4 million UK homes a yr. No matter a record-breaking yr for offshore wind – with three foremost new duties together with 3,193MW of newest functionality in 2022 – onshore duties are lagging behind.

The evaluation found that 10 new onshore wind duties had been put in in 2022, together with 318MW and powering an additional 209,000 homes. However, that’s decrease than the 370MW added the sooner yr.

In response, the enterprise is searching for a reform of the planning system with the intention to scale up every onshore and offshore duties. The Authorities’s Vitality Security Method models out a model new objective to resolve on offshore planning features in 12 months, with some duties nonetheless taking better than 4 years beneath current planning processes.

RenewableUK’s Chief Govt Dan McGrail acknowledged: “The most recent figures current we made terrific progress in placing in a doc amount of newest offshore wind functionality remaining yr. However, we nonetheless wish to make it possible for the glacial tempo of the consenting course of is stepped up significantly to stay on observe for the quadrupling of offshore functionality that the Authorities wishes to see by 2030 as a key step in strengthening the UK’s energy security.

“In all components of the UK, along with Scotland, patrons are highlighting the planning system as a big block on rising onshore new wind farms. Onshore wind is one amongst our least costly sources of newest power and the Authorities’s private polling reveals that four-fifths of most of the people help it. Nonetheless outdated planning tips and lack of sources in planning authorities indicate progress and funding are being held once more.”

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