In 2014, wind power supplied 28.1 terawatt hours of electricity to the United Kingom, according to a recent press release from RenewableUK.
That’s enough electricity to power 6.7 million households, or over 25 percent of homes in the UK. It’s also a 15 percent increase over wind power generation in 2013.
“It’s great to start 2015 with some good news about the massive quantities of clean electricity we’re now generating from wind, with new records being set month after month, quarter after quarter, and year on year, as we increase our capacity to harness one of Britain’s best natural resources,” said RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Maf Smith.
The UK broke a number of renewable records by the end of 2014. December set a new monthly high of 14 percent of all UK electricity generated by wind (a one percent growth over 2013), as well as 12 percent of all UK electricity generated by wind for the quarter (breaking Q1 2014’s record of 11 percent).
Scotland by itself had a tremendous year for wind power generation. According to figures from WWF Scotland, the country generated enough power from wind to supply 98 percent of its households with electricity. On December 10, Scotland’s windmills generated enough electricity to supply 6.34 million homes for an entire day.
With these numbers, Scotland’s goal of generating 100 percent of its electricity from renewables in the next five years looks downright breezy (if you’ll forgive the pun). Though that plan includes exporting its non-renewable energy production to other countries, the consultancy firm DNV-GL claims that Scotland could eliminate fossil fuels completely (from both domestic use and foreign trade) by 2030.
“There is no technical reason requiring conventional fossil and nuclear generation in Scotland,” Paul Gardner, lead author of DNV-GL’s report, told the Guardian. “Our technical analysis shows that a system with an extremely high proportion of renewable electricity generation located in Scotland can be secure and stable.”
2015 is an election year in the UK, which can disrupt investments in renewable power as politicians with varying interests in clean energy take the reins. Liz Truss, the UK’s Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has publicly called solar farms “a blight on the countryside.”
Maf Smith has urged voters and policymakers to keep clean energy in mind during the General Election. “The cost of energy has become an important political issue,” he said, “so now would be a good time for voters, prospective parliamentary candidates and MPs to take account of the fact that onshore wind is the cheapest form of renewable energy we have at our fingertips. So if we’re serious about cutting bills, and securing an indigenous supply of clean power, all parties need to support it in the months ahead.”