When the wind doesn’t blow: Weather hits UK renewable generation


Wind-turbineweb-300x200UK onshore wind generation output fell by 19% year-on-year for the three months to end of June 2016, contributing to an overall reduction in renewable generation output, government data suggests.

Overall, renewable power generated fell by 2.2% while renewables’ share of the generation mix dipped from 25.4% to 24.9% despite adding 3.9GW of renewable generating capacity over the year.

Total renewable capacity stood at 32.5GW at the end of June, up from 28.6GW the previous year. However, the 14% increase could not offset reduced wind speeds, which were around 10% lower than the ten year mean for the quarter, according to department for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) statistics.

Compared to the same period in 2015, offshore wind generation also fell by 9%.

Load factors for onshore wind fell from 25% to 18.6% year on year, with offshore wind load factors dropping from 33.5% to 29.2%.

Less rain also curtailed output from hydro power. Hydro generation fell by 35% on a year earlier, from 1.4 TWh to 0.9 TWh, with average rainfall (in the main hydro areas) down by 26 per cent, according to BEIS.

Despite lower average sun hours, output from solar PV increased due to increased capacity, with PV overtaking onshore wind as the UK’s single largest source of renewable power generation during the period. By the end of the quarter, BEIS said PV represented 33% of renewable power generation capacity (10.7GW), with onshore wind at 30% (9.75GW).

See the data here.

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