Predicting the future of UK wind energy
02 May 2024



​How hard could it be to accurately predict the future of UK wind energy in the next 40 years?




As it turns out, quite hard! But not impossible, as demonstrated by our dedicated Energy Research Unit in the 1980s when they accurately predicted the percentage of electricity that the UK could derive from wind power.

Turning back the clock approximately 40 years, the Science & Engineering Research Council (SERC) (a predecessor of both STFC and EPSRC) collaborated with the University of Reading to produce a paper titled: “Studies of Wind Energy Integration for the UK National Electricity Grid."

This paper, authored in part by Technology's Dr Jim Halliday, describes some of the work carried out on a project to analyse the problems relating to the large-scale use of wind energy in the UK.

One of the paper's many conclusions establishes that “the UK could derive 20-30% of its electricity from wind power without major difficulties."

In December 2022, the UK had a wind energy capacity of 28.8GW. According to the model used in the SERC project, these wind turbines should be able to produce between 21 and 33% of the UK's annual electricity demand.

Given that the UK's electricity generation in 2022 hit 80,257 GWh and wind energy provided 24.7% of this total- we think that the paper's predictions should be considered a success!​

Want to discover what else our Energy Research Unit gets up to when not acting as the Nostradamus of wind energy? Visit their page to find out more.


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