Wind Crowding Out Coal, Gas is Next

May 11, 2023

Drax Electric Insights (UK):

Almost a third (32.4%) of Britain’s electricity was supplied from wind power during the first quarter of 2023, outpacing gas which delivered 31.7%. It is the first-time wind has provided the largest share of power in any quarter in the history of the country’s electricity grid.

The findings have been released ahead of the next instalment of the quarterly Drax Electric Insights report. The publication is an independent report by academics from Imperial College London commissioned through Imperial Consultants.

Across the three months, Britain’s turbines generated 24 TWh of electricity – enough to charge more than 300 million Tesla Model Ys. Output from wind was 3% higher than during the same quarter last year, while gas was down by 5%.

Almost 42% of Britain’s electricity came from renewable sources (wind, solar, biomass, and hydro) in the first three months of 2023. Fossil fuels supplied 33%, with the rest coming from imports from abroad and the country’s shrinking nuclear fleet.

Dr Iain Staffell of Imperial College London, and lead author of the quarterly Drax Electric Insights report series, said: “The renewable power revolution has transformed how Britain gets its electricity, making our power grid cleaner and greener.

“In the space of a decade the UK has almost completely cut out coal, after relying on the most polluting fossil fuel for over a century to power our country. 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, and shows what can be achieved when governments create a good environment for investors in clean technology.”

Meanwhile, similar story in Iowa:

And in Texas, where the roaring success of renewables has sparked a desperate backlash by the gas industry, communities are nevertheless benefitting from renewable deployment –

County Magazine:

Despite a decline in small businesses and the oil industry during the past 30 years and an agricultural sector that is battling drought and increased costs, Coke County had the biggest increase in adjusted gross domestic product percentage of all counties in the country.

According to the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the county’s GDP increased 81.8% between 2020 and 2021, mostly thanks to wind energy.

Coke County Judge Hal Spain explained that Aviator Wind, a private wind farm that began producing energy in 2021, makes up approximately 75% of the county’s GDP.

“Across the nation, wind energy facilities are providing a new source of revenue to the communities that host them. In many of these communities, such as Coke County, wind facilities overnight become the largest source of county tax revenue,” said Natasha Montague, senior community relations manager at Apex Clean Energy, the company that developed Aviator Wind.

The largest single-site, single-phase wind farm in the country, Aviator Wind consists of 191 turbines and has a total power output of 525 megawatts. Among those purchasing energy from those Coke County turbines are media giant Meta and fast-food behemoth McDonald’s.

Apex chose Coke County because it offers a strong wind resource, compatible existing land uses, existing transmission lines and roads, and meaningful community support, according to the company.


5 Responses to “Wind Crowding Out Coal, Gas is Next”

  1. Mark Mev Says:

    But the wind does not shine all the time and the sun does not blow all the time. Plus, ______(1) is going to happen when renewables reach ____(2) percentage.
    (1) Fill in your favorite calamity: brown outs, black outs, exorbitant prices, death, no minerals left
    (2) Fill in your doomsday percentage. I remember horror stories about 20%, not sure where the value is today.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Everybody will die of wind turbine cancer or solar farm noise when renewables reach 82.3%.

    • John Oneill Says:

      Wind made 8.7% of power in California last year, solar 15.5%.
      ‘The 26.0 cents per kWh Los Angeles households paid for electricity in December 2022 was 57.6 percent more than the nationwide average of 16.5 cents per kWh. Last December, electricity costs were 69.0 percent higher in Los Angeles compared to the nation.’ From April 2019 to April 2023, average prices for electricity in Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim went up just under three times as much as average US prices over the same period. Blackouts didn’t happen, but the CAISO warned people not to charge their electric cars only a week after a scheduled ban on sales of ICE ones was announced.

      • Gingerbaker Says:

        What are you going to do with those bushels of cherries you have picked – make a lot of pies?

  2. jfon Says:

    I’m not saying household prices are inversely matched to percentage of intermittent power – circumstances alter cases, and only a few places have a large, let alone dominant, share of W or S. There is a correlation, and it’s much closer than that between high intermittents and low CO2/kWh.
    The example of how to decarbonise electricity has long been either side of the Rhine, with Germany averaging 6.5x higher than France till last year, then only 4.7 x higher with over half the French reactor fleet out of action. Now that the French government has rediscovered its faith in nuclear, and the German one has finally shut its last plants, expect that margin to grow. On the other side of Germany, across the Oder, Poland has been relying on coal, but talking about nuclear, for decades. We’ll see if they actually build the dozens of plants, large and small, that are now being planned.
    Last week, the Danish Parliament voted by a clear majority to set up a public consultation on whether Denmark should develop nuclear. If they do, there aren’t many ‘renewables only’ holdouts left.

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