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Sunny Weather Provides UK with New Solar Record

31 May 10:00 by Steve Walia

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The recent sunny spell has helped the UK to break a series of new renewable energy records. Solar power generated nearly 25pc of the country's total electricity needs with a combination of long daylight hours, great weather and lower demand due to the warmer spell.

National Grid confirmed that the solar PV systems in place across fields and on rooftops in Britain were producing 8.7GW of power this week, beating the former high of 8.48GW which was achieved earlier in May.

This meant that around 60pc of Britain's power production came from low-carbon sources, factoring in output from wind farms along with nuclear power plants. The more typical figure is 50pc.

National Grid works to ensure a constant balance between electricity demand and supply, and it's said it was enthused and not concerned about the potential difficulties of factoring in high volumes of green energy arriving on the grid via micro installations across the country and community-led schemes.

The Grid's operational manager, Duncan Burt, said that the National Grid was constantly reviewing forthcoming energy movements to balance supply and demand movements and that it had a range of tools in place to allow this to happen.

A spokesperson for Greenpeace said that the new record was a timely reminder to the government of what could be achieved if support was renewed for the solar industry. The milestone also represented the latest achievement for solar power in the UK, which now has 12GW of capacity in the UK from a near zero starting point just seven years ago.

In 2016, it produced more energy than Britain's remaining ten coal power stations. Its share also helped the UK to enjoy its first entire working day without power from coal since the fuel was first used in 1882.