Whats Going On Here?
On Early May Bank Holiday, as Brits were getting blown about socialising outside, wind turbines were working hard generating 48.5% of grid electricity in England, Scotland and Wales.
What Does This Mean?
The blustery bank holiday produced a new wind power record as turbines, on- and off-shore, generated over 17.6 GW of electricity for the first time. If, like me, you’re wondering how much energy that is – it’s enough to power more than 3.5m kettles!
Wind generation is just one part of the UK energy mix. This chart from the UK National Grid electricity system operator (ESO) for March 2021 shows wind coming in 2nd behind gas.
Growth in wind capacity has been slowing over the last couple of years, however, high wind speeds have meant that generation records continue to be broken. In fact, on Bank Holiday Monday, while the weather worked in favour of wind power, solar generation outputs dropped, perfectly demonstrating why we need a mix of technologies.
In 2020, renewable generation increased by 11 percent. By adding to renewable energy capacity we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and get closer to decarbonising the grid.
In fact, 2020 was the electricity system’s greenest-ever year, with the average carbon intensity falling to 181g CO2e/kWh. You might remember we celebrated last year when the UK went 68 days without burning coal from 10 April to 16 June.
One last record break to share with you – carbon intensity of the UK’s energy grid dropped to its all-time low, 39 g CO2e/kWh, at 1 pm on Easter Monday, when more than 80% of our electricity was produced by either wind, solar, nuclear or hydropower.
Why Should We Care?
Want to know more about what the UK electricity grid is doing? Then there’s an app for that.
But don’t worry if watching energy trends doesn’t get you powered up. In summary, decarbonising the electricity grid has been instrumental in delivering progress towards reducing the UK carbon emissions. We need to keep breaking records with renewables and switching away from fossil fuels if we are to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change.
Have you switched to a green supplier yet? Check out Big Clean Switch.
Want to join the smart energy revolution? Get a free smart meter installed in your home.
💡 And ever heard of a bladeless wind turbine? Find out more here.