As the UK strives for a carbon-neutral society, fossil fuel figures continue to drop, leading to the electricity system being the greenest it has ever been on Easter Bank Holiday Monday.
Last year saw many records broken for Britain’s electricity mix, with almost 68 days coal-free from 10th April – 16th June 2020. And this year seems to be following the same trend as sunny and windy weather, coupled with low travel and closed factories on bank holiday Monday, led to a surge in renewable energy sources, according to the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO).
According to this article, low-carbon energy sources accounted for almost 80% of Britain’s power on 5th April 2021; with wind power making up 39% of the mix, solar at 21%, and nuclear accounting for 16%. The burning of biomass accounted for another 4%, with no coal generation on the grid and just 10% of power from gas plants.
Levels of carbon pollution for each unit of electricity consumed dropped to just 39 grams of CO2, which is the lowest ever recorded on the grid.
Fintan Slye, director at National Grid ESO, said: “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 2050.”
The levels of fossil fuels on the grid have been dropping consistently throughout the first quarter of 2021. While in January, gas accounted for more than 43% of the energy mix and coal 5%, by March, only 37% of Britain’s electricity was generated from gas.
This new record is a cause for celebration as the government aims to have almost all electricity produced from low carbon sources by 2030.