The United Kingdom experienced its greenest summer ever according to the country’s grid operator, National Grid, which reported that almost 52% of its electricity generation was met by low-carbon sources.
The National Grid reported this week that between 21 June and 22 September — the Northern Hemisphere’s summer — 52% of the electricity generated was met by low-carbon sources, compared to only 35% only four years ago, representing a phenomenal shift in the country’s electricity mix.
“Through the Government’s Industrial Strategy we are delivering a record amount of renewable energy while boosting the economy and creating jobs up and down the country,” said Energy Minister, Richard Harrington. “With over half of Britain’s electricity generated from low carbon sources, we’ve had a truly green summer and we welcome this innovative new software. It has great potential to give consumers more control and is another step towards an energy system that’s fit for the future.”
National Grid’s figures were released at the same time as it announced the launch of new software that forecasts the carbon intensity of the country’s electricity generation up to two days ahead of time. Further, by partnering with Environmental Defense Fund Europe and WWF they will be making the software open and available to the public. The software makes use of National Grid’s existing knowledge of the UK electricity system alongside weather data from the Met Office, the country’s national weather service, to forecast the share of renewable and non-renewable energy sources at work in the electricity grid.
“We’re providing our forecast data in a format that allows technology companies to build innovative apps and software that could make a real difference to how and when people use energy,” explained Duncan Burt, Director of the System Operator at National Grid. “Clear and concise information that can tell you in advance when’s best to turn on the washing machine, load the dishwasher or charge your car for example, is a step in the right direction towards a low carbon future. This technology puts people at the heart of it, helping everyone to use power when it’s greenest, and likely, more cost efficient.”
“It’s been an exciting year managing the many ‘network firsts’ — from a day where we operated the system with zero coal power, to one where over half of Great Britain’s energy demand was met by renewable generation — and we’re just as excited to see what developments come off the back of making this data available for all.”
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