For the first time ever, renewable energy sources have provided more than half the UK’s electricity needs.
The National Grid officially confirmed that on Wednesday, renewable sources (wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric), were providing 50.7 per cent of national demand.
This week’s weather has been perfect for renewable energy sources and it was at Wednesday lunchtime that it all neatly fit into place.
Sunny skies combined with strong winds across most of the country meant that the UK’s renewable sources were working overtime thus reducing the need for conventional energy sources like coal and gas.
In fact, if you added nuclear to the mix low carbon energy sources accounted for a staggering 72 per cent of national demand.
That’s pretty amazing when you think that it was just January when it was first reported that these same sources had just started to provide half of the electricity demand.
Wind came into its own this week thanks to perfect weather conditions and the plummeting costs of installing them and maintaining them.
Analysts confirmed that on Tuesday wind was producing so much electricity that prices had actually gone into the negative for a brief period.
While this is a remarkable achievement it highlights some of the problems that still need to be solved around renewable energy.
Storage is a huge priority. For low-carbon sources like wind, solar and hydroelectric their efficiency is entirely dependent on the weather. The key is to be able to store excess energy they produce and then be able to feed it into the national grid as and when it’s needed.
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