Great Britain’s power system experienced record lows of carbon emissions over the May bank holiday weekend. These achievements were due to high levels of solar and wind generation and a lower demand for energy in general.
An electricity tracker at Drax found that Saturday (23/5/20) was the lowest carbon day ever. The average carbon intensity averaged at 61g CO2/kWh. In addition to this, Sunday (24/5/20) afternoon saw the lowest dip in carbon intensity ever, dropping to 18g CO2/kWh for over an hour. During this period, 65% of the power was sourced from renewable energy.
Furthermore, the current low demand in electricity alongside the high levels of solar and wind generation saw wholesale electricity prices fall to a record low on Friday 22nd May. The analysis by Drax commented “across the whole 24-hour period, the average day-ahead wholesale price was negative £9.92 per MWh – more than twice as low as the previous record, set on Sunday 8 December 2019, of negative £4.62/MWh. In the early hours of Friday morning, the day-ahead price was as low as negative £52.03 per MWh.”
The current coronavirus lockdown measures have seen a drop in electricity demand. This drop has prompted the International Energy Agency to forecast a 5% drop in global electricity this year, which will result in the lowest drop since the Great Depression in the 1930s.
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