UK has greenest ever summer as low carbon energy production spikes

26 September 2017, 08:14

The UK has had its "greenest" ever summer - with more than half the country's electricity coming from low carbon sources.

From 21 June to 22 September, nearly 52% of electricity generation was from nuclear power and renewables such as solar and wind, the National Grid said.

The figure marks a 17% increase in the use of low carbon sources in four years, while over the same period average carbon dioxide emissions for each unit of power fell by more than half (56%).

This summer, almost a quarter of power generation (24%) came from renewable sources, up from just 9% four years ago.

To further reduce the amount of carbon emissions, the National Grid is working with the Environmental Defense Fund Europe and WWF to make software that can forecast the "carbon intensity" of electricity generation up to two days ahead.

WWF is using the data to develop an online tool that can inform homeowners of the best times to turn on or off home appliances to minimise carbon emissions.

Changing times of usage can reduce household bills and the need to use back-up fossil fuel power plants to meet demand, National Grid said.

The network's director of operations, Duncan Burt, said: "Clear and concise information that can tell you in advance when's best to turn on the washing machine, load the dishwasher or charge your car for example, is a step in the right direction towards a low carbon future.

"This technology puts people at the heart of it, helping everyone to use power when it's greenest, and likely, more cost efficient."

Gareth Redmond-King, head of climate and energy at WWF, described the developments as a "game changer".

He said: "It's time for the UK Government to step up and deliver a strong and ambitious clean growth plan, continuing to support renewables, cleaning up our transport and making our homes more energy efficient."

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