< Back to posts

This Month in Renewable Energy

Throughout history, the month of January has witnessed commendable achievements, innovations, and milestones that have left an enduring mark on the renewable energy industry. Let’s journey through time and celebrate some key events.

  • 2022: ESO Reports Second ‘Greenest’ Year in UK Records

The annual reports from the UK’s Electricity System Operator (ESO) revealed that a combination of renewable energy and nuclear power accounted for 48.5% of the country’s electricity generation. In contrast, gas and coal fossil fuels contributed 40%, marking the year as the second greenest after 2020 at the time of publication.

Biomass accounted for 5.2% of generation, while wind power accounted for 26.8%, up from 21.9% the year before. In late January 2022, wind-powered electricity gained its highest ever share of the energy mix, accounting for 64% of generation.

  • 2018: US Energy Department Release Hydrogen Fuel Station Stats

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) documented the presence of 39 hydrogen fuel stations throughout the United States. Among these, California led with the highest count of 35 stations, followed by 2 in South Carolina, and 1 each in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Out of the 39 fuel stations, only 31 are designated for retail use. According to the National Fuel Cell Technology Evaluation Center, a total of 276,535 kilograms of hydrogen was dispensed during the second quarter of 2017. Hydrogen can be used to power fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), which, according to the DoE, are considered to be more efficient than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. FCEVs generate only water vapour and warm air as emissions, avoiding the release of harmful pollutants.

  • 1997: Colorado's First Wind Farm, Ponnequin Begins Construction

Located near the Colorado-Wyoming border, close to Cheyenne, the Ponnequin wind farm featured 44 wind turbines, each capable of producing 700 kW of electricity. This collectively amounted to a total capacity of 30MW for the entire site.

With an approximate cost of $1 million per turbine, these structures weighed nearly 100 tonnes and stood over 180 feet tall, according to fsvfolks. The first wind turbine commenced operations in April 1998, and the site remained operational for 17 years until its decommissioning in 2015.

  • 1995: North East University Implements UK’s First Building Integrated PV Installation

Following a government-funded study in 1991 by the newcastle Photovoltaics Applications Centre, which identified a 360 TWh/year of potential solar generation capacity from building-integrated PV, Northumbria University installed a 40 kW array comprising 465 solar PV modules on the Northumberland Building, marking it as the first building-integrated PV installation in the country.