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Britain’s electricity system hits new ‘greenest ever’ level

John Fitzsimons
Written By:
John Fitzsimons

The electricity grid for Great Britain hit its new greenest ever level over the Easter Bank Holiday.

That’s according to the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO), which runs the network. It said that at 1pm on Monday 5 April, the CO2 emissions per unit of electricity consumed dropped to just 39g. That’s the lowest figure in history, and beats the previous record of 46 grams set in May 2020.

Renewable sources on the up

According to National Grid ESO, the Easter weekend saw the combination of sunny spells, blustery conditions and relatively low energy demand. As a result, it meant that renewable sources of power dominated the energy mix over the holiday period.

At 1pm on Monday, wind power made up 39% of the electricity mix, solar power accounted for 21% and nuclear prpduced 16%. As a result, zero-carbon sources accounted for almost 80% of the nation’s power when the new record was set.

National Grid ESO pointed out that the last 18 months have been record-breaking for renewable power sources. February saw the highest ever level of wind generation, while August last year saw wind contributing its highest ever share to the electricity mix at a whopping 59.9%. Solar power has also set new records over this period.

Going green

There’s little question that increasing numbers of us are keen to improve our green credentials when it comes to our energy use.

A recent study by comparethemarket.com found that an incredible 81% of households that moved energy tariff through the price comparison site opted for a ‘green’ tariff, compared to 43% the year before. 

However, big questions remain over just how environmentally-friendly these tariffs really are, which has led to Uswitch launching a green accreditation scheme so that shoppers are clearer about exactly what they are getting from their energy supplier. 

Unfortunately the drive to being greener hasn’t been helped by the government’s disastrous Green Homes Grant. The grant was designed to provide a financial helping hand to homeowners who introduce home improvements that make their property more energy efficient. However, the scheme has been dropped after both homeowners and tradesmen complained of excessive red tape.