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As France’s nuclear energy sector falters, Britain’s wind and solar power booms

the continued sharp growth of green power in Britain’s electricity mix. Wind farms generated a record 28 per cent of the country’s needs this year, up from 23 per cent last year. Solar generation increased to 5 per cent this year, from essentially zero a decade earlier.

Britain exported more electricity to Europe than ever before this year while wind and solar generation hit all-time highs, according to the first analysis of the year’s power mix. The energy crisis in Europe prompted by
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and safety problems at French nuclear plants resulted in Britain becoming a net exporter of electricity to the Continent for the first time in more than a decade.

Renewable power sources generated in excess of 40 per cent of Britain’s electricity needs for the first
time as both wind and solar output increased, according to the analysis by Imperial College London for Drax Electric Insights and seen by The Times.
Gas-fired power generation also increased, compensating for a sharp drop in imports and helping to supply the rising exports. Soaring gas prices meant power prices were almost twice as high as a year earlier. Iain Staffell, of Imperial College London, lead author of the report, said: “This has been a year like no other for the energy industry.

The public are feeling the pain of high gas prices on their energy bills, even though renewables are
providing the grid with more cheap, green electricity than ever before. The lesson from 2022 is that we need to break our addiction to fossil fuels once and for all if we want lower-cost and more secure energy supplies.”


This reversal was driven by net exports to France, with more than half of the French nuclear fleet forced offline over the summer for maintenance and to repair corrosion and cracking.

Power flows on interconnectors are normally decided by the market, travelling in the direction of the highest
bidder. The analysis also shows the continued sharp growth of green power in Britain’s electricity mix. Wind farms generated a record 28 per cent of the country’s needs this year, up from 23 per cent last year. Solar
generation increased to 5 per cent this year, from essentially zero a decade earlier.

 Times 29th Dec 2022

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/electricity-exports-to-europe-soar-as-wind-and-solar-power-increase-lltkvqkpf

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December 31, 2022 - Posted by | renewable, UK

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