Solar farm on Godley Reservoir in Hyde, Manchester. Sunshine and windy weather helped National Grid to lowest carbon intensity recorded since 1935. Photograph: Ashley Cooper pics/Alamy Stock Photo
Great Britain’s electricity system recorded its greenest ever day over the Easter bank holiday as sunshine and windy weather led to a surge in renewable energy.
The power plants generating electricity in England, Scotland and Wales produced only 39g of carbon dioxide for every kilowatt-hour of electricity on Monday, according to National Grid’s electricity system operator, the lowest carbon intensity recorded since National Grid records began in 1935.
The new low smashed the grid’s previous record of 46g on 24 May last year, during the country’s greenest ever month for electricity generation.
On Easter Monday, wind turbines and solar farms generated 60% of all electricity as households enjoyed a bank holiday lunch. At the same time the UK’s nuclear reactors provided 16% of the electricity mix, meaning almost 80% of the grid was powered from low-carbon sources.
The low-carbon power surge, combined with lower than average demand for electricity over the bank holiday, kept gas-fired power in Great Britain to 10% of the electricity mix and caused the “carbon intensity” of the electricity system to plummet to its lowest on record.