Britain’s electricity system will be capable of being powered solely by zero carbon sources of power by 2025 for periods at a time, National Grid ESO has said. Ahead of the COP26 climate summit in November, the operator has released new analysis that shows the system will be capable of running free of fossil fuels in four years. This will be a key milestone for a zero carbon electricity system by 2035, the target laid out in the sixth carbon budget. Currently, National Grid ESO’s control room does still need to draw on fossil fuels to deliver system reliability, managing properties such as voltage and frequency. This was particularly evident at the beginning of 2021, when cold weather and low winds led to the grid relying more heavily on gas and coal than usual, and power prices in the day ahead market and the Balancing Mechanism skyrocketing. But generally the last couple of years have been a record period of growth for renewable energy, including coal staying off the grid for 68 days in 2020, the longest period since the Industrial Revolution. In 2019, zero carbon electricity generation outstripped that derived from fossil fuels for the first time, and on 17 August that year, at 1:30pm clean generation hit the highest share ever seen at 85.1% (wind 39%, solar 25%, nuclear 20% and hydro 1%). A further record was broken on 12 February when zero carbon generators produced their highest ever output, hitting 28.8GW.
Current 15th June 2021 read more »
Britain faces catastrophic power cuts because of an increasing reliance on electricity to run everything from cars to home boilers, the Committee on Climate Change has warned. Decarbonisation plans, which involve switching transport and heating away from petrol and gas, will mean outages in the future have a greater impact, the Government’s independent advisory committee on climate change has said, as it urged the Government to make sure the system could withstand extreme weather. Incidents such as floods and storms, potentially made more intense by climate change, could leave thousands without power unless the Government prioritises adaptation, something it has so far failed to do, the committee said. Electricity currently provides 15 to 20 per cent of the UK’s energy, but by 2050 this could rise to 65 per cent, a trend mostly driven by a switch from petrol and diesel-fuelled transport to electric power, and from gas boilers to electric alternatives such as heat pumps.
Telegraph 16th June 2021 read more »