Coal – Free First For Electricity In Great Britain
Coronavirus slump and sunniest spring on record send green energy soaring in England, Wales and Scotland.
Great Britain’s electricity system recorded its “greenest” ever month in May after running without coal-fired electricity for a full calendar month.
The National Grid, the energy system operator, said the country’s sunniest spring on record helped generate enough solar power to reduce the carbon intensity of the grid to its lowest level ever recorded.
The bright and breezy weather helped wind and solar power make up about 28% of Great Britain’s electricity last month, narrowly behind gas-fired power generation, which made up 30% of the energy mix.
Meanwhile, the record low demand for electricity during the coronavirus lockdown has left little room for Great Britain’s last remaining coal power plants to play a role.
Since April Great Britain’s electricity system has run without coal-fired power for about 54 consecutive days, which has helped the carbon intensity of the electricity grid fall to the lowest average carbon intensity on record at 143 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour.
The lowest carbon intensity ever was recorded at 46g CO2/kWh on Sunday 24 May.