Windy weather brings new renewable record

Output from wind, solar, biomass and hydro meet more than half of all demand

Windy weather brought with it a new renewable record yesterday lunchtime as output from wind, solar, biomass and hydro peaked at 19.3GW.

Wind, solar and nuclear all individually generated more power than gas and coal combined, National Grid revealed, another unprecedented phenomenon for Britain’s energy system.

Data from the system operator showed wind output at 9.5GW, solar at 7.6GW, biomass at 2GW and hydro at 0.2GW.

They together met more than half (50.7 per cent) of all electricity demand in the UK.

Emissions plummeted to 89gCO2/kWh as output from all low-carbon sources, including nuclear, came to make up more than three quarters (77.6 per cent) of the generation mix.

Gas output fell to just 7.4GW and coal generation dropped to zero.

Source: Electric Insights, Drax

The Renewable Energy Association tweeted: “With costs falling and investors more wary about investing in new fossil generation, it won't be long before this becomes the new normal!”

Energy UK chief executive Lawrence Slade commented: “[Yesterday’s] renewables record shows that energy companies are embracing the opportunity to deliver the affordable, secure and clean energy that consumers demand.

“We now need a stable policy framework that continues to encourage investment and an industrial strategy that promotes low-carbon growth. This will enable us to go further and faster in developing new low-carbon technologies at least cost to the consumer.”

There were record low prices on the wholesale power market on Tuesday as traders prepared for a glut of wind generation during the early hours of yesterday morning. For the first time in the history of the market negative prices were seen in the half hour day-ahead auction.

Author: Tom Grimwood,
Channel: Operations & Assets , Markets & Trading

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