The UK set a new wind power record in November when British wind farms averaged a high of 20.90GW of generation.
The wind power record was set between 12:00pm and 12:30pm on 2nd November 2022. UK’s exposed position in the north-east Atlantic makes it one of the best locations in the world for wind power, and the shallow waters of the North Sea host several of the world’s largest offshore wind farms.
The rise in wind power comes as just 1.6 per cent of the UK’s electricity was generated from coal over the past year, according to the National Grid.
The world’s first coal-fired power station at 57 Holborn Viaduct in London started producing power on 12th January 1882, lighting the surrounding streets and local buildings through 968 incandescent lamps. Coal fuelled the industrial revolution, and by 1900 Great Britain was mining 250,000,000 tonnes of coal every year.
Over time the negative environmental impacts of coal burning became an increasing problem, and in 2001 the European Union issued the Large Combustion Plant Directive, obliging power stations to limit their emissions or close by 2015.
As a result, nine coal-fired power stations closed between 2012 and 2015. Great Britain’s largest power station, Drax, has been converted to burn wood pellets imported from North America (categorised as biomass).
On 21st April 2015 Great Britain went a full day without any power generation from coal, and between 1st May and 8th May 2019 a week passed without power generation from coal.
Most reporting data comes from the Balancing Mechanism Reporting System and is updated at five minute intervals. Embedded solar and wind data comes from National Grid ESO and is updated at half hour intervals. Emissions data comes from the Carbon Intensity project by the National Grid and the University Of Oxford Department Of Computer Science, and is updated at half hour intervals,