Wind power contributed to a quarter of Great Britain’s electricity generation in the start of 2020, a new report from National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has found.
According to the analysis wind made up around 24% of this month’s electricity generation in England, Scotland and Wales, biomass 7.7%, hydro 2.07%, solar 1.16%, nuclear 19.75% and gas, with the largest share of 32%. Coal made up just over 5% and imports contributed 8.22%.
The average share of the low carbon mix for January 2020 was 47%, according to National Grid ESO. Together, wind, solar, hydro and biomass made up 32% of the mix.
The grid operator’s January report is the first in a series of bulletins providing a breakdown of the energy mix. In January National Grid ESO managed 22,000 gigawatt hours of electricity through Great Britain’s network.
According to National Grid ESO head of national control, Roisin Quinn, the new report shows that January is “typical of the changing nature of GB electricity, with a reduced reliance on coal power stations” and almost a quarter of electricity coming from wind power.
These trends are “expected to continue” as the operator focuses on being able to operate carbon free by 2025.
In addition National Grid ESO, a legally separate part of the wider National Grid group, oversaw a “record breaking” year for Britain’s electricity in 2019, with the highest levels of wind and solar generation ever recorded and the longest ever period of no coal being burned to generate electricity – 437 hours.
Quinn said: “The engineers in our control room balance supply and demand for electricity in Great Britain minute by minute, so it’s great to be able to showcase their work in our new monthly Electricity Report.
“My team also make the decisions that influence the mix of power too, using the generators and network assets available to deliver safe and reliable electricity, always choosing the cheapest mix for consumers.”