Easter Monday was greenest yet for UK electricity system
As yet another environmental record was broken on Easter Monday when the UK’s electricity system was the greenest it has ever been, it shows investment in renewable energy is paying off, says an energy expert.
It is just another example at the astonishing rate that Britain is moving away from fossil fuels in our power industry to being carbon free by 2025,” said Ron Fox, of Noreus Ltd.
At 1pm on Bank Holiday Monday almost 80 per cent of our energy came from low-carbon energy sources, thanks to sunny and windy weather, together with low demand for power as factories were not working, said the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO).
The surge in renewal sources of energy meant that levels of carbon pollution for each unit of electricity consumed dropped to just 39 grams of carbon dioxide per kWh – the lowest ever recorded for the Grid. This beat the previous record of 46gCO2/kWh set on May 24, 2020.
Wind power made up 39 per cent of the electricity mix, solar power 21 per cent, and nuclear power 16 per cent with no power generated on the grid and just 10 per cent from gas plants with the remainder coming from other sources such as imports and biomass.
This record has been helped because when the UK went into lockdown, electricity demand plummeted as office blocks, restaurants and hotels stood empty due to the covid pandemic.
The National Grid took power plants off the network and with EDF Energy closing its West Burton A power station in Lincolnshire in September 2022 it will leave just one coal-fired plant in the country.
“It’s a cause for celebration and I think as investment in renewables increases, these records will be happening regularly,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park.
The last 12 months have seen many records broken. There was the longest ever run of coal not being part of the UK’s energy mix for almost 68 days between April 10 and June 16, the first ever coal-free Christmas Day, solar power providing more than a third of electricity supplies last May and the highest ever amount of electricity generated by wind power on February 13 this year.
These figures couldn’t have come at a better time with Britain hosting the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) this November year and the opportunity to encourage other countries to follow the UK’s example.
But Ron added: “Despite these impressive results there is still a long way to go to achieve the government’s aim of having all electricity produced from low carbon sources by 2030.
“The real test for renewables comes when we face a cold, still, overcast February day and demand for heat and light soars and wind power is non-existent and when we will need much more energy storage than is presently available.”
For more details about green energy and sustainable transport, call Ron on 0845 474 6641.
Caption: Powerful figures – the UK’s electricity system was the greenest it has ever been on Easter Bank Holiday Monday.