Wind power surpasses fossil fuels for two consecutive quarters

By Control Energy Costs
schedule9th May 24

In a historic stride towards a greener future, wind power has surpassed fossil fuels in UK electricity generation for two consecutive quarters, marking the longest period where renewable energy has overtaken traditional sources. As this achievement highlights the momentum of the renewable energy sector, Control Energy Costs stands as a leader in supporting businesses to navigate the transition towards a net-zero carbon economy.

According to data from energy think tank Ember, wind farms emerged as the primary source of electricity in the UK for the first three months of 2024, producing 25.3 terawatt hours (TWh) compared to 23.6 TWh generated from all fossil fuel sources combined. 

Wind power accounted for an average of 39.4% of total electricity during the first quarter of 2024, surpassing the 36.2% contribution from fossil fuels. This trend continued from the final quarter of 2023, marking a groundbreaking shift where wind power consistently outperformed fossil fuel plants in the UK.

The combined output from wind and solar farms reached a record-breaking 27.1 TWh during Q1 2024, representing a remarkable 42.2% share of total electricity generation.

However, it's important to note the seasonal variability inherent in renewable energy sources. As summer approaches, wind speeds typically experience lulls, potentially leading to a decline in renewable electricity generation. In 2023, wind generation during the second and third quarters dropped by 46% and 34%, respectively, compared to the first quarter. A similar pattern is anticipated for 2024.

Nonetheless, the anticipated decline in wind generation during the summer months is expected to be partially offset by increased solar output. Solar farms tend to peak during sunnier periods, with output projected to rise to around 5 TWh during the second quarter of the year. However, given that wind farms typically generate six times more electricity than solar farms in the UK, a notable dip in total renewable generation is still anticipated.

To mitigate the impact of seasonal fluctuations and ensure stable power supplies, utilities may resort to deploying greater quantities of electricity generated by nuclear reactors, bioenergy facilities, and hydro dams. In cases of heightened demand during summer, supplementary use of natural gas and thermal coal may be necessary, particularly with the rising use of air conditioners during hot periods.

Looking beyond the summer months, the resurgence of wind speeds promises a resurgence in wind farm output, reaffirming their position as the primary source of electricity in the UK. This cyclic pattern underscores the dynamic nature of renewable energy generation and the critical role it plays in achieving carbon reduction and energy transition objectives.

By championing renewable energy solutions and facilitating the adoption of clean technologies, Control Energy Costs is spearheading progress towards a sustainable energy future for generations to come.

Contact us to see how we can help with your business’s sustainability goals. 

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