One thing we have learnt this week – UK grid is the cleanest ever

1024px-Flat_Holm_PV_solar_array_near_FarmhouseUK grid is the cleanest ever.  That’s the news this week.  Thanks to massive amounts of new renewable energy this summer’s electricity had the lowest carbon intensity ever.  Records continue to be broken.  On May 31st solar power reached an all time record briefly overtaking nuclear.  On the 7th of June renewable power provided over 50% of electricity.

Since then we have reached new lows for the price generated by offshore wind and the first subsidy free solar farm.  This latter project uses battery storage to become viable now all subsidies have stopped for such projects.  (Note new solar on rooftops gets about 5p/unit with the export tariff thrown in).  This is competitive with wholesale price of electricity.  Nor are National Grid having problems so far integrating so much renewable power into the grid.  The issue is more of a problem at the local distribution level with ban in some parts of the country in getting new small scale generation connected.

Other news this week suggests greenhouse gas emissions are stalling for the third year on a row suggesting that global emissions may have peaked.  Caution is required since these figures do not include agriculture and forestry.  These two are are huge emitters, but again thanks to renewables the trajectory is in the right direction.

The fact that the UK grid is the cleanest ever is great news.   We really are on the brink of something big.

Neil

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