UK wind energy breaks output records. Again.

Wind power UK
CC BY 2.0 Flickr

This is very good news. So much so that it might soon stop being news.

I regularly say this, but large-scale wind energy was really nowhere to be seen in the UK when I moved from there a decade or so ago. So it's impressive indeed that at one point last Saturday, as reported by The Independent, UK wind farms were hitting 14 GW of output. Cleantechnica even reports that the output continued to climb thanks to windy weather, reaching a peak of 14.3GW and making up for as much as 44.5% of total electricity demand.

Of course, momentary spikes of output and individual days of record output are only so valuable. As happens every time I write about wind energy records, somebody will no doubt bring up the issue of intermittency and the challenges this brings for managing the grid.

But here's the thing: As more wind is installed in more places, and as our grid and our homes get smarter, and better able to match demand with supply, intermittency should become less and less of a problem. True, we might be some way off a world where 100% renewable energy is viable 24 hours a day, but the kind of output the UK is enjoying is a reminder that warnings in the US (and elsewhere) that renewables might destabilize the grid are to be taken with a pinch of salt, at best.

With even utility CEOs predicting that renewables will dominate, and news today that that Dutch subsidy-free offshore wind farm we've been going on about has now got a signed contract, I expect the impressive records we are seeing reported will soon feel like old and very quaint news.

Oh, and the UK wind industry isn't the only one with impressive output:

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