It being a foggy day today, with no wind where I am in Surrey, thought I might check the Gridwatch website to check on our sources of electricity. There’s another Gridwatch website you can look at – confusingly with the same name.
Here’s the status of the National Grid from Gridwatch at 10.15 on 3rd November 2017, which shows that CCGT comprises almost 60% of our electricity generation needs – Combined Cycle Gas Turbines [Natural gas used to power turbines and the exhaust gases used to create steam to generate more electricity, hence combined cycle]. Click on image to enlarge.
That’s what the data reveals in the Carbon Brief Analysis, in which they say,
The UK generated more electricity from wind than from coal in the full calendar year of 2016, Carbon Brief analysis shows.
The milestone is a first for the UK and reflects a collapse in coal generation, which contributed just 9.2% of UK electricity last year, with 11.5% from wind. The coal decline saw its output fall to the lowest level since 1935.
This chart [click to enlarge], compiled from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy data and other sources, shows the dramatic change in the UK’s energy mix. Go to the Analysis to see the interactive version of this chart. There’s another table in the report showing how solar is making an increasing, though as yet small, contribution to our energy mix.
A follow up article to yesterday’s report about UK’s wind energy output.
The annual Climate Change Performance Index is published by Germanwatch, a Germany-based policy institute focusing on public policy areas such as, climate change, agriculture, and sustainable development. The UK’s rise up the rankings over recent years is due to it’s investment in renewable technology.
The Climate Change Performance Index for 2017 [shown in full below] reports that the UK dropped from 2nd place to third place. Oddly the index does not award positions from 1 to 3, meaning that the UK drops from 5th to 6th in their 2017 Index. The index surveys the performance of 58 countries, where Germany lies in 29th place, USA in 43rd, and China 48th. You can view recent previous Index reports for 2016, and 2015. Click to expand images.
I see the increasing use of renewable power as encouraging. Here’s a couple of screen captures Gridwatch over Christmas [firstly from 24th, and then 26th December] that shows wind power generating almost one quarter of the UK’s power needs. There are days when wind power generation is negligible, I am, therefore, a believer in the need for nuclear power to generate the base load of UK power needs.
I’m pleased to see the UK’s investment in wind power starting to payoff. The offshore London Array wind farm in the Thames Estuary is currently the largest in the world, with 630 turbines. It’s disappointing that the UK has little involvement in ownership, manufacturing, or research and development of wind power turbines. One market where, as a nation, we can make up for that lack of expertise is in battery technology – see Giant UK battery launch, and HERE, and with Dyson.