As energy security rises up the agenda across Europe this winter, a report by independent analysts Cambridge Econometrics shows additional wind power would make the UK’s energy supply more resilient by cutting costly imports of fossil fuels.
In 2013, wind energy reduced the UK’s need to import coal by an estimated 4.9 million tonnes and gas by 1.4 billion cubic metres, a study by Cambridge Econometrics has revealed.
56% of the UK’s gas supplies and 79% of coal were imported in 2013. Without wind energy, import levels would have been higher. Wind is increasingly displacing the need for coal and gas, helping to reduce Britain’s dependence on foreign fossil fuels.
The report, commissioned by trade body RenewableUK, also looked ahead at how using either more wind or more gas would serve the UK’s energy needs in 2020 and 2030. It concludes that as the cost of wind is predictable, using a greater amount of it to generate electricity amounts to investing in an insurance premium against the uncertain cost of gas.