The UK now has extra offshore wind energy capability than another nation – however we’d like a plan B for ultra-cold winters with hovering vitality calls for

Last yr was one of many greenest for energy within the UK. Nearly one-third of all electrical energy got here from renewable sources, and wind and photo voltaic offered extra energy than coal on 315 days of the yr. Rapid development in each photo voltaic and wind (the UK now has extra offshore wind energy capability than another nation on the planet) has enabled the UK to attain these spectacular statistics, however will the rise in renewables additionally make UK energy extra weak to the whims of British climate?

Researchers engaged on the European Climatic Energy Mixes challenge have been investigating future threat by assessing how the UK would fare with a repeat of the unusually chilly winter of 2009-10. From mid-December 2009 a southward-displaced jet stream allowed chilly air to pour in from japanese Europe, bringing widespread snow and plunging temperatures. The imply UK temperature for all the winter was simply 1.5C, the bottom since 1978-79 when it was 1.2C . As a consequence energy demand surged, with electrical energy consumption between 10 and 20% above common on quite a lot of events.

Related: Europe’s offshore wind business booming as prices fall

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