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Wind power finds support ahead of the election

It may be maligned in many quarters, not least within the current government but in 2014 one quarter proved very happy with wind generation indeed.

That quarter was the 24% rise of onshore and offshore wind to produce the “lion’s share” of renewable electricity in 2014, according to the latest DUKES report from the government.

Wind generation’s critics are many, both for the inefficiency of its generation cycle, reliance on one weather phenomenon and its ‘blot on the landscape’ reputation, but the latest energy statistics reveal onshore wind generation increased by 7.9%, and offshore wind rose 16.1% in 2014.

Overall the significant increase in installed generation, rather than a particularly windy period, saw total output from wind generation in all its forms of 31.6TWh.

That contributed to a wider increase in the overall market share of renewable electricity capacity, up 21% to 24.2GW.

Indeed the overall contribution of low-carbon electricity’s to the share of generation, including nuclear energy, increased to 38.8% in 2014.

Wind was not the only big mover in renewable generation contribution however with hydropower recording a 26% rise, and biomass’ contributing 24% more year on year – almost single handedly driven by Drax’s on-going conversion to biomass generation, despite its difficulties with the government and CFD scheme.

Wind energy lobbyy group RenewableUK’s Maf Smith reacted to the results saying:

“Communities up and down the country benefit from wind power… and these statistics show it’s doing its primary job of providing clean homegrown power and weaning us off fossil fuel imports”

However Smith highlighted the need for the current and future government to recognise wind generation as a particular “UK success story” and urged them to “recognise its value, and support it fully”.

The war over wind is most certainly not run but the battle advantage is with the pros off the back of these results. The first months of the new administration will signify whether this is a temporary blip or a permanent change in policy direction.