The UK's wind energy industry has set a new record today, delivering more than 6GW of power to the grid for the first time.
National Grid confirmed the half-hour average output from the UK's wind farms reached 6,004MW between 2:30 and 3pm, providing 13.5 per cent of the UK's total electricity demand – equivalent to the demand from more than 3.4 million homes.
The total figure for wind power output is likely to be higher still, as the UK is home to a fleet of off-grid small-scale turbines that are not required to provide real time output data to National Grid.
The previous record was set on 15 September this year at 5,739MW, but it was broken on several occasions today as strong winds swept across the country.
The figures are expressed in MW, rather than MWh, as the measure is based on average output over a half-hour period.
The wind energy sector is expected to set new records on a frequent basis in the coming years as new onshore and offshore wind farms come online.
"Wind energy is consistently setting new records and providing an ever-increasing amount of clean electricity for British homes and businesses," said RenewableUK's director of external affairs, Jennifer Webber, in a statement. "We're generating from a home-grown source that gives us a secure supply of power at cost we can control, rather than leaving ourselves exposed to the global fluctuation in fossil fuel prices that have driven bills up.
"Wind gives us a way to make a smooth transition from old-fashioned fuels to a new low-carbon economy. We're also generating tens of thousands of green-collar jobs for people now working in the fast-growing British wind energy industry."
The news comes on the same day as green energy providers Ecotricity and Good Energy, both of which source much of their energy from wind farms, announced that they will freeze prices until next April at the earliest, in part because they are less reliant on gas power than other utilities.