Britain’s electricity grid sees greenest day ever over Easter

Sunshine, coupled with windy weather over the Easter bank holiday has seen Great Britain’s electricity grid record its greenest day ever, with carbon intensity dropping to the lowest it’s ever been.

On Easter Monday, power plants in England, Scotland, and Wales emitted only 39g of CO2/kWh of electricity, according to National Grid’s electricity system operator. Solar farms and wind turbines generated 60 percent of all electricity as households enjoyed their holiday lunch.

The low-carbon energy surge, combined with low power demand during the period, kept gas-fired power in Great Britain to 10 percent of the electricity mix, prompting the lowest “carbon intensity” in the country’s electricity system since national records began in 1935.

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

As a result of coronavirus lockdowns, the UK’s electricity emissions have fallen sharply over the last year. And last month, the energy grid operator said demand for electricity remained five percent lower than usual despite the gradual reopening of the economy, indicating the industry’s steady transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewables.

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