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Great Britain posts another green electricity record

April 07, 2021

The Guardian:

Great Britain’s electricity system recorded its greenest ever day over the Easter bank holiday as sunshine and windy weather led to a surge in renewable energy.

The power plants generating electricity in England, Scotland and Wales produced only 39g of carbon dioxide for every kilowatt-hour of electricity on Monday, according to National Grid’s electricity system operator, the lowest carbon intensity recorded since National Grid records began in 1935. The new low smashed the grid’s previous record of 46g on 24 May last year, during the country’s greenest ever month for electricity generation.

On Easter Monday, wind turbines and solar farms generated 60% of all electricity as households enjoyed a bank holiday lunch. At the same time, the UK’s nuclear reactors provided 16% of the electricity mix, meaning almost 80% of the grid was powered from low-carbon sources.

The low-carbon power surge, combined with lower than average demand for electricity over the bank holiday, kept gas-fired power in Great Britain to 10% of the electricity mix and caused the “carbon intensity” of the electricity system to plummet to its lowest on record.

Last month, wind and solar power made up 24% and 4% of the electricity mix respectively, while gas-fired power plants made up the bulk of Britain’s electricity at 39% of the electricity mix. The carbon intensity was 185g of CO2/kWh for March but is expected to fall through the summer months as solar power plays a larger role in meeting the country’s electricity demand.

Fintan Slye, a director at the system operator at National Grid, said the latest record was another example of how Britain’s energy system was transforming “at an astonishing rate” as the industry moves away from fossil fuels and begins to harness renewable energy sources.

[Jillian Ambrose]

More: Great Britain’s electricity system has greenest day ever over Easter

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