Renewables generate enough to power 99% of UK homes

Posted in: Energy

Posted on: 08.07.2015

At 3.45pm yesterday afternoon, renewable generators were providing enough electricity to power nearly all of the UK’s households.

Between 3.30pm and 4.00pm, the estimated electricity requirement of a whopping 99% of UK homes was flowing into the grid from wind and hydro turbines, biomass generators and solar panels.

At this time, conditions were perfect to meet UK domestic demand: it was sunny and windy, and a recent sharp increase in solar capacity across the UK meant we were well placed to take advantage.

Over the half hour 5,800MWh was generated by sustainable technologies.

An increase in the number of solar panels is one of the reasons that last Friday saw a record-breaking solar independence day too – solar alone provided 16% of the UK’s total electricity demand in an afternoon.

How did we work it out?

We’re always keeping an eye on what renewables are up to, and used data from Elexon (the company in charge of balancing the UK’s electricity demand) to see how much was being generated by renewables by the half hour.

We then worked out the electricity demand of all UK households. Every year, roughly a third of the UK’s electricity demand comes from domestic households. Demand fluctuates during the day, when people are at work, school or using their heating.

Elexon shows how much electricity the average household uses throughout the year. We found the appropriate figure, then multiplied it by the total number of domestic electricity meters.

Dividing the first number by the second, we arrived at the massive 99% figure!

Continuing a great trend for renewables

During January to March this year, renewables were responsible for generating 22% of the UK’s total electricity demand: a great step towards a more sustainable, independent energy future for the UK.

We’re excited to be part of a future that’s powered by sun, wind and rain; you can read more about our vision here.

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