Last week, National Grid published Winter Review 2018/19, a summary of the electricity network’s performance between October and March.
Winter 2018/19 was the fifth warmest winter in nearly sixty years. Mild temperatures, combined with the high volume of electricity generated by wind farms, enabled significant reductions in coal-based generation. This made last winter the lowest in carbon intensity on record for electricity generation.
Carbon intensity refers to the amount of CO2 produced for every kilowatt of electricity. We can see from the data published by National Grid that the levels of carbon generated when producing electricity halved in the last five years from 455.2 grams during the 2014/15 season to 242.8 grams between October and March 2018/19.
National Grid highlights its commitment to operate a fully decarbonised electricity network by 2025, supporting the UK government with meeting the new legally binding net zero CO2 emission target by 2050.
This creates opportunities for large energy users, whose participation in National Grid’s balancing services is crucial to increase the electricity network’s flexibility, making its operation robust and resilient, regardless of external conditions such as weather anomalies.