UK wind power production hit a record on Wednesday thanks to blustery weather spinning turbines across the country and out at sea.
The strong afternoon wind output was enough to cover more than half of Britain’s electricity needs. Production surpassed a peak set in late January and follows record renewables output seen recently in other parts of Europe, highlighting the potential for green energy to replace expensive fossil fuels.
As the UK continues to ramp up wind-farm capacity to cut its reliance on dirty fuels like coal and gas, records will start to become an increasingly common occurrence. More green output is also good news as European countries look to wean themselves off Russian energy.
Wind power peaked at 19,835 megawatts on Wednesday, according to data from National Grid Plc. The UK Met Office issued a succinct forecast for the day’s weather: “Quite windy.”
The conditions were virtually ideal for turbines, with gusts of around 30 miles (48 kilometers) an hour measured around the country. Winds were stronger offshore, where some of the biggest farms are installed.
The optimal wind speed for many turbines is about 33 miles an hour — fast enough to turn blades quickly without risking damage. When storms earlier this year set UK wind speed records, some turbines shut down for protection.