Sunny weekend breaks UK solar record
Posted by Chloe Lloyd on 5 April 2017 at 12:59 pm
With days becoming longer and sunnier afternoons on the rise, now is the perfect time to be generating electricity from your solar PV panels. Cast your minds back to the weekend of the 25th March 2017, temperatures were rising and you were dusting the cobwebs off the barbeque. However, that weekend marked a key milestone for electricity demand and solar PV generation in the UK.
Saturday the 25th saw electricity demand from homes and businesses during the afternoon to be much lower than demand experienced overnight. Presumably because they were using their own FREE production. It has been described by Duncun Burt from the National Grid as “turning the hard and fast rules of the past upside down”. In fact, the whole weekend was great for solar PV, with Sunday and Monday also seeing 15% of electricity being generated through PV.
Of course, demand is generally lower at the weekends, with the closure of many commercial premises such as offices and industry. However, this particular weekend was significant not just because we used less electricity. The last five years have seen significant increases in the installation of solar technology, with over 11 gigawatts (GW) of capacity now installed across the country. On this particular Saturday, the increasing amount of solar panels on rooftops and within fields resulted in solar power producing six times more electricity than coal-fired power stations, a step in the right direction if you ask me!
Chris Goodall, author of “The Switch” remains positive about the transformation and believes that weekends during the approaching summer may see as little as 15% of the UKs power coming from fossil fuels. PV, wind and other renewable fuels will make up the rest.
Perhaps Saturday 25th March should be renamed “Solar Saturday” or perhaps this is just the start of many sunny weekends to come that will see clean energy generation outweigh demand from fossil fuel technologies in the UK.
Image credit: UK solar power experiment, David Blaikie on Flikr
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