Britain now gets more of its electricity from wind farms than Germany does

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People like to complain about how Britain is falling behind the rest of Europe on renewables. This is mostly uninformed noise from individuals who are unaware that the majority of renewable energy in Europe comes from burning the likes of wood, and not from wind farms and solar panels.

The main reason Britain is “behind” the rest of Europe on renewables is mostly because we do not burn vast amounts of wood for heating or generate lots of electricity using hydro-electric dams. The latter is a simple result of physical realities: there isn’t much potential to generate hydro-electricity in Britain. The former is not something Britain should be too concerned about, depending on your views on the actual sustainability of bioenergy.

That Britain’s isn’t falling behind is further demonstrated by the fact that it now gets more of its electricity from wind farms than Germany does, Germany being a supposed green nirvana state.

Here is a graph showing the history of wind electricity in Britain and Germany:

DE_UKIn 2006, Britain got barely 6% of its electricity generation from wind farms, while Germany got 5%. By last year Britain had edged ahead of Germany, getting 9.5% of its electricity generation from wind farms.

Whether this will last is debatable. Britain’s government seems to have been taken over by NIMBYs who aren’t fans of intrusive, skyscraper sized masses of concrete, steel and fiberglass spoiling what is green and pleasant. Subsidies for onshore wind turbines are to end very soon. It’s much better to put these sublime structures in the middle of the sea, where it costs more and no-one can see them.

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