UK renewables prove a shining success during pandemic. Ample sun and wind, combined with low electricity demand, lead to unprecedented reliance on green energy. During the past month, records for clean energy have been broken repeatedly, as the combination of ample sun and wind, and low electricity demand has led to an unprecedented level of use of renewable power in the UK. A new record for sun power was set in April — with solar farms powering nearly 30 per cent of the grid at their peak, due to bright weather and low pollution. The UK is also in the midst of setting a new record for the longest period the grid has ever operated without coal — 34 days as of May 14 and counting. A big drop in electricity demand since lockdown started in March has pushed some traditional power plants off the grid entirely, but wind and solar have kept servicing the need as they have preferential access to the grid. In a sign of the unusual circumstances, National Grid Electricity System Operator recently took a nuclear reactor partially offline to maintain grid stability, paying EDF Energy to reduce output at its Sizewell B nuclear reactor.
FT 17th May 2020 read more »