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U.K.’s energy price soars by seven times due to lack of wind

U.K.’s energy price soars by seven times due to lack of wind

Posted September. 15, 2021 07:34,   

Updated September. 15, 2021 07:34


The U.K. generates 25% of energy from wind power but is now seeing energy price soaring by seven times in a year due to lack of wind. Halted operation of wind power plants in the U.K. affected other European countries in the grid, including Germany that had its energy prices steeply increased.  

According to The Wall Street Journal on Monday, the wholesale energy price in the U.K. on Sept. 8 was 33.66 euros per MWh. It was 132.20 euros on Aug. 9 and 46.97 euros on Sept. 8 last year. The WSJ reported that energy prices soared in France, the Netherlands and Germany where the grid is connected.  

“When the wind stops blowing, an energy storm brews,” reported The Times on Saturday. The whether in the U.K. has been hot and windless as if its midsummer. The turbines of wind power generators installed by the seashore stopped along with the air current, which eventually caused problems in electricity supply. The U.K. generated 42% of the country’s energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar power last year. Natural gas accounted for 34%, nuclear power 17% and the rest included coal and other sources.  

Experts pointed out that too much dependency on renewable energy could cause a serious issue in energy supply. “The issue would have been serious if this happened in wintertime when the energy demand peaks,” said Stefan Konstantinov, an energy specialist at analyst firm ICIS. “Gas and coal power plants resumed operation to fill in the void. Coal power, which had been avoided due to carbon emission regulations, is garnering attention again.”  

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last year to increase the wind power capacity by four times from the current level by 2030. The U.K. operates offshore wind power generators that can produce 10GWs of electricity. “Citizens will receive shocking energy bills this winder,” reported The Times. “There are growing concerns in the overall energy sector.”

Eun-Taek Lee nabi@donga.com