Wind power generation increases by almost a third

Wind now powering more than two million homes

  • Energy statistics reveal a 31% increase in wind power generation in 2009

  • Renewables contribution to UK electricity mix up by 20%

  • Wind energy now represents 2.5% of all UK electricity production

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

RenewableUK, the trade body representing Britain 's wind, wave and tidal energy sector has welcomed figures which show the percentage of electricity on the grid from wind power increased by 31.1% last year compared to 2008. In 2009 wind power in the UK produced 9,304Gwh of electricity or enough energy to power more than two million homes, the equivalent of around two thirds of households in Greater London.

The statistics, published by DECC as part of The Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) 2010, also reveal that between 2008 and 2009 the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources overall grew by 20% from 5.6% to 6.7% and the proportion of all UK electricity produced by wind power now stands at 2.5%.

Maria McCaffery MBE, RenewableUK Chief Executive said: “It is good news to see the role of renewables in meeting our energy needs is rising and in particular the significant contribution from the wind industry. These are promising statistics but we must go further and act faster. With one third of our power supply needing to be replaced by 2015 we cannot delay in greater deployment of clean energy technologies. If we are to avoid an energy gap and secure our supplies for the future, we must maintain momentum to deliver a robust renewable energy industry that will lead to the creation of thousands of green jobs.”

She added “Meeting our 2020 renewable energy targets will be largely dependent on Britain unlocking its offshore wind potential. The UK is capable of delivering 49GW of electricity from this sector over the next decade; more than half our current energy needs. However, achieving this goal will require strong political will and a policy framework that ensures Britain does not lose out to the rest of the world in this burgeoning industry.”

RenewableUK has broadly welcomed the Annual Energy Statement but is urging Government to raise its target of 12GW of offshore wind installed by 2020 to over 20GW.

What we still are forgetting, it would seem, is to make small wind, that is to say, micro-generation of wind energy, a real feasibility by making effective and efficient small turbines that really can pack a punch at low cost, or even teach people how to – shock, horror – build and install their own.

The UK, and not just the UK, must become serious about small wind and solar by taking away all planning restrictions in regards too those.

While the talk was about those turbines and panels no longer needing planning consent and being able to be installed without the reality is a total different one at local level.

Councils the width and breadth of Britain still take action against people who install such turbines and panels without consent, more often than not quoting aesthetics of an area or such ***.

Wind turbines on every roof and solar heating panels and photo-voltaic panels must become a common sight in such a way that we find it strange if a house does not have at least one turbine and solar panels.

This will require a new approach by the councils but, let's face it... no planning consent needed means another source of income gone and they will not want to have that now, do they...

© 2010