Wind power production declines in Britain and EU
Energy output from wind farms in Great Britain and the European Union declined by 5 % to 341 Terawatt hours (TWh) over the first nine months of 2021, according to the Ember research centre.

    Overall, power generation from all sources, increased by 4 % to 2,348 TWh.

    Output from solar panels increased over the same period by 9 % to 148 TWh.

    Such a discrepancy is directly linked to specific weather conditions. The number of sunny days in Germany in spring 2021 was 7 % higher than the average value recorded over many years. That figure stood at 13 % for the autumn (in accordance with summertime climate norms), according to the German Weather Service (DWD).

   And in contrast, days with low winds occurred more often than the norm in the North and Baltic Seas. As a result, in the first half of 2021, power generation from wind turbines in the North Sea declined year-on-year by 15 % to 9.7 TWh. The decrease in the Baltic Sea totalled 17.5 % to 2.2 TWh, according to the electricity transmission operator TenneT.

    Alongside solar and wind generation, electricity output from natural gas also declined – by 4 % – over the first 10 months of 2021 TO 471 TWh. One of the reasons behind the decline was a lower rate of gas flows to underground storage sites. As of 30th November 2020, European storage sites were filled to 95 % capacity, but the figure as of 30th September 2021 stood at only 75 %, according to the calculations of Gas Infrastructure Europe.

      That naturally lead to an increase in coal-fired power generation, which rose in the first 10 months of 2021 by 21 % year-on-year (to 324 TWh).    

    And there was little effect from higher prices for CO2 emissions quotas, which coal-fired power station operators are obliged to buy if they exceed emissions limits – from the beginning of January to the end of October 2021, the cost of a tonne of carbon in the European Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS) climbed from $34 to $59. By mid-December it stood at $79.

    At the end of the first 10 months of 2021, the share of coal-fired power generation in Britain and the EU stood at 14 %, with gas at 20 %, wind power at 15 %, solar power at 6 % and other energy sources at 45 %.


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December 2021