The summer months of June through to September 2017 saw the highest level of energy from low-carbon sources ever in the UK, according to the National Grid. 52 per cent of UK electricity in these months was from renewables and nuclear, compared to about 35 per cent four years ago. Over those four years, the average carbon dioxide emissions for each unit of power has fallen by more than half (56%).
With the aim to bring carbon emissions down further, the network operator, in cooperation with WWF and the Environmental Defense Fund Europe, has been developing software that is able to forecast the carbon intensity of electricity generation in the next 48 hours. It takes weather data from the Met Office to forecast what share renewable energy, generated by wind and solar power, will contribute to the grid and what the resulting carbon emissions will be.
The idea is to share that information with the public through apps and other forms of technology so they can plan when to turn on their dishwasher and charge their electric vehicles to ensure most of the energy they are using is generated by green sources.
National Grid’s director of operations, Duncan Burt, said:
“Clear and concise information that can tell you in advance when’s best to turn on the washing machine, load the dishwasher or charge your car for example, is a step in the right direction towards a low carbon future. This technology puts people at the heart of it, helping everyone to use power when it’s greenest, and likely, more cost efficient.”
Gareth Redmond-King, head of climate and energy at WWF, said:
“It’s time for the UK Government to step up and deliver a strong and ambitious clean growth plan, continuing to support renewables, cleaning up our transport and making our homes more energy efficient.”