Britain’s wind farms generated more electricity in the first quarter of 2023 than gas for the first time, a report from Imperial College London showed on Wednesday.
Britain is seeking to scale up its wind generation as it seeks to meet a goal of net zero emissions by 2050 and to become more independent of expensive imported energy following the supply disruption caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Almost a third of Britain’s electricity, some 32.4%, came from wind farms in the first quarter of the year compared with 31.7% from gas-fired power plants, marking the first quarter where wind power output was higher, the report said.
“There are still many hurdles to reaching a completely fossil fuel-free grid, but wind out supplying gas for the first time is a genuine milestone event,” said Iain Staffell of Imperial College London and lead author of the report.
Wind power rose by 3% compared with the first quarter of 2022 while gas-fired generation fell by 5%, the report said.
In total, renewables, including wind, solar, biomass and hydro, provided almost 42% of Britain’s electricity in the first quarter of 2023, with 33% coming from fossil fuels like gas and coal.
The remaining electricity came from the country’s nuclear plants and from imports via power links with other countries, the report said.
The report was commissioned by British power generator Drax, as part of its Drax Electric Insights series.
(Reporting By Susanna Twidale; Editing by Sharon Singleton)