UK power grid could be zero carbon by 2025

Britain’s power grid could run entirely on zero-carbon electricity by 2025, according to a new report.

The report by National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) states that by 2025, the UK’s electricity grid will be able to operate ‘safely and securely at zero carbon’ whenever there is sufficient renewable generation online and available to meet demand.

The National Grid ESO is a separate company within the National Grid group, which relies on a mix of energy from different sources to balance the system and ensure that electricity is always there when people need it.

Over the last decade, the amount of renewable energy used as part of the overall energy mix on the grid has steadily increased

‘In 2018, ESO managed a number of records on the electricity system – including wind generation in Great Britain exceeding 15GW for the first time and no coal on the system for 72 consecutive hours,’ said ESO director, Fintan Slye.

‘By 2025, ESO will have transformed the operation of Great Britain’s electricity system and put in place the innovative systems, products and services to ensure that the network is ready to handle 100% zero carbon,’ added Slye.

‘Zero carbon operation of the electricity system by 2025 means a fundamental change to how our system was designed to operate; integrating newer technologies right across the system – from large-scale off-shore wind to domestic scale solar panels – and increasing demand-side participation, using new smart digital systems to manage and control the system in real-time.

‘We will identify the systems, services and products we will need to run a zero-carbon network and design the new competitive marketplaces needed to source these as efficiently as possible, from both new and existing companies. We believe that promoting competition will ultimately lead to better value for consumers.

‘The new products and services we will introduce will help reduce the overall cost of operating the system, driving down costs for consumers.

‘Operating a zero-carbon electricity system in 2025, whenever there is sufficient renewable generation, is a major stepping stone to full decarbonisation of the entire electricity system; enabling new technologies and removing barriers to ever-increasing levels of renewables.’

The full report is available to read here.

Jamie Hailstone

Jamie Hailstone

journalist

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