UK achieves solar power record – momentarily

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

The BBC reported that the UK achieved a new high for solar electricity being transmitted through the grid: 8.7 GW (24.3% of power) –  on Friday May 26th.  It wasn't clear from the reporting whether this was an average figure or one at a particular time.  Given that the Grid tweeted about the record around 1300 on the day, I guess it was the latter.  I wonder what the % was averaged out across the whole day.  Less than 24.3%, of course.

In a statement of the blindingly obvious, a Grid spokesperson said:

"The record level of solar power was achieved largely because of to the clear and sunny weather on Friday."

She added, just in case we'd not quite grasped the significance of this:

"It would have been significantly harder to reach if it had been cloudy."

Dear me!  NB, I suspect the puzzling "of to the" phrase was down to the BBC's grammar police trying to change "due to" to "because of", and getting distracted.

The BBC added that, "alongside the contribution from solar, 23% of power came from nuclear sources, 30% from natural gas and just 1.4% from coal.  Wind, hydro power and biomass were also used."  It's surprising, perhaps, that there was any coal used at all, but this could have been because there wasn't quite enough wind.  You can follow the ups and downs of all this here and watch the demise of old king coal in almost real time.


And then, at 1300 on June 7th, renewable energy resources set record figure of 18.7 gigawatts (~51% of demand).  This is a report in the Independent saying that gas usage was lower than any renewable source, but the numbers are confusing.  There is still a lot of nuclear in there, but that didn't get a mention.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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  • When I saw this news last week I was just left wondering 'what if?' What could the contribution have been had policy changes not all but killed off small businesses in the solar sector? Not to mention the refusal to invest in onshore wind in England. Could/should 50% be the norm in the summer months?

  • renewable energy in the UK is a wonderful thing...very informative post