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UK renewables power output hits record 25.0 TWh in Q1: EnAppSys

http://www.chemnet.com   Apr 13,2018 Platts

UK renewables power output in the first quarter was a record 25.0 TWh, thanks to a strong performance by wind, data from EnAppSys showed Thursday.

"The strong performance of wind helped overall renewable output to hit 25 TWh -- the highest ever level recorded in a single quarter in Britain -- which meant renewables were the second largest contributor to the GB power mix behind gas-fired plant," EnAppSys, which monitors the energy market, said.

The first quarter saw 37.3% of electricity generation from gas-fired power stations, with renewable projects contributing 29.0% and nuclear plants 18.1%. Coal-fired power stations produced 9.4%, while 6.3% came from imports.

The quarter saw 18.3% of generation come from wind farms, 6.8% from biomass plants, 2.2% from solar farms and 1.7% from hydro plants.

"The performance of renewables highlights just how important this electricity source -- and particularly wind -- has become to Britain's power mix," EnAppSys director Paul Verrill said.

"With offshore wind farms a cheap and relatively uncontroversial source of power, levels of wind generation are expected to continue rising and this trend will be fast-tracked by the Western Link interconnector coming on stream later this year...The Western Link will move power from Scotland into England and this will reduce the likelihood of wind farms being paid to go offline due to transmission constraints."


While renewables hit record high levels, coal power generation fell to a Q1 low. Its share of the power mix fell to 9.4% (8.13 TWh), in sharp contrast to 58.4% (40.33 TWh) in Q1 2012.

However, there were instances when coal came to the rescue when there was a shortage of power from other sources.

On Thursday March 1, National Grid issued a gas deficit warning to indicate a potential shortage of gas on the system while coal stepped into the breach, generating 10.5GW of power -- effectively the highest possible level of coal output achievable at the time.
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