It’s Monday, January 9, and the U.K. broke a record for wind power — again.

The U.K. set a new record for wind energy generation late last month, when the country’s onshore and offshore wind turbines produced 20.91 gigawatts of power — enough to boil about 3.7 million electric kettles at once.

The new record — set on December 30 and announced a few days later by the National Grid Electricity System Operator, which maintains the U.K.’s electric grid — rounds out an exceptional year for the British wind sector. Thanks to gusty conditions and the completion of a handful of new offshore wind farms over the course of the year, U.K. wind generation repeatedly broke instantaneous power records and produced a total of 74 terawatt-hours of energy over 2022, beating the previous high of 68 terawatt-hours set in 2020.

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An ongoing surge in wind power has also contributed to new records for zero-carbon sources of energy, a category that includes renewables like wind and solar as well as nuclear. After reaching a new high on December 30 in which it met 87.2 percent of the U.K.’s total electricity demand, zero-carbon energy inched even higher on January 4, meeting 87.6 percent of the nation’s demand.

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Experts have hailed the new records and noted their opportune timing following a cold snap in early December, which prompted residents to increase their heating use and drove electricity prices to eye-watering highs. “Wind is now the U.K.’s cheapest source of new power, so every unit of electricity we generate from it helps consumers by reducing our reliance on expensive gas imports,” Dan McGrail, CEO of the nonprofit trade association RenewableUK, said in a statement. “Investing in more wind and other renewables is vital in tackling the cost of living crisis for hard-pressed bill payers.”

As the U.K. moves toward its goal of having 50 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030, experts expect records will continue to fall. At least one new offshore wind project, the 1.1-gigawatt Seagreen Project off the coast of Scotland, is set to begin sending power to the U.K. next year. And despite years of a de facto ban on new onshore wind generation, the country appears to be softening its opposition — at least in places “where communities are in favor of it.”

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