80% of Britain’s Electricity was Zero-Carbon
Britain achieved its greenest day on record on Easter Monday with zero-carbon energy making up 80 per cent of the British energy mix at their peak.
This was achieved with a combination of factors which included a low demand for energy as a result of the Easter holiday, coupled with sunny and gusty conditions, a perfect cocktail that helped renewable sources dominate the energy mix over the Easter weekend.
At 1 pm on Monday 5th April, almost 80 per cent of the nation’s electricity mix was made up of wind power (39 per cent), solar power (21 per cent), and nuclear (16 per cent), leaving just 10 per cent coming from gas plants with the rest provided by other sources including biomass and imports.
This effective combination of green energy sources also helped the level of carbon dioxide produced per unit of electricity consumed to reduce to a staggering 39 grams – which according to the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) is another new record, something the UK is becoming increasingly more accustomed to. Over the past year the UK has notched up a myriad of records which include: the longest period without any coal power, and in 2020 between April 10th and June 16th, the UK shattered its records for the highest levels of wind and solar generation. Also in 2020 coal-generated power was just 1.6 per cent compared with 25 per cent just five years ago.
National Grid ESO director, Fintan Slye stated: “This latest record is another example of how the grid continues to transform at an astonishing rate as we move away from fossil fuel generation and harness the growth of renewable power sources.
“It’s an exciting time, and the progress we’re seeing with these records underlines the significant strides we’re taking towards our ambition of being able to operate the system carbon-free by 2025.”
As impressive as these results are, they are a step in the right direction and much more is needed, something that Kate Blagojevic, head of climate at Greenpeace UK mirrored when she hailed the UK’s continued progress: “This is no time for the UK Government to rest on its laurels,” she warned. “As the Glasgow climate summit looms closer, ministers really need to up their game on tackling UK carbon emissions right across the board.”
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