You don’t have to be a whizz at maths to see that the [energy bill] targets will require a steep growth rate in renewables. It would be a remarkable trajectory, taking wind from a 1% share of the nation’s electricity to around 25% in under 15 years, overtaking nuclear power in the process. But can this actually happen?
Yes it really can, provided the industry (both in the UK and abroad) continues to make the strides it has been making over the past few years. At around 9.30pm on a cold day in mid-September last year, something extremely exciting happened in the UK (albeit completely unnoticeable to all but a few operators in the National Grid’s control centre): wind power set a new all-time generation record of 3.98GW. “System demand” at the time was 34.9GW which meant that, for the first time in the UK’s history, the wind was meeting more than 10% of our total electricity demand, nearly 12% actually.