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Wind outstrips nuclear power thanks to Hurricane Gonzalo via The Week

High winds and faulty power plants lift wind power above nuclear for the first time in the UK

Britain’s wind turbines generated more energy yesterday than the country’s nuclear power plants, the National Grid says.

Wind farms provided 14.2 per cent of all power generated, while nuclear plants produced 13.2 per cent.

Gales resulting from the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo boosted wind power, while nuclear operations was curtailed by problems at several plants. Nine reactors at four nuclear plants are currently offline due to unplanned maintenance and refuelling, energy news website RenewablesBiz.com reported.

Wind farms have proven controversial in the UK, causing protest in many rural communities. This year, protesters have rallied against new wind farms in Anglesey, East Yorkshire and Sutherland.

But yesterday’s performance comes on the heels of another milestone, when wind generated a record amount of power on Saturday – 6,372 megaWatts, according to the National Grid.

This accounted for nearly 20 per cent of the UK’s electricity, the BBC reports, although weekend demand for power is comparatively low.

The government said the UK’s energy security was guaranteed by developing several sources of power.

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Nevertheless, the government still offers higher long-term subsidies to nuclear than to wind power.

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