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Another Record Broken for UK Renewables

08 Jun 15:00 by Steve Walia

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Britain has enjoyed a new record for renewables thanks to a surge in solar and wind energy production. Heavier winds than usual at the start of summer have allowed the green energy industry to generate more than 50pc of Britain's total electricity demand.

In total, a record amount of green energy - 19.3GW from solar, wind, biomass and hydro - was produced. This was sufficient to meet over half of all demand at midday on Wednesday in the first week of June, which stood at 35.4GW.

The National Grid confirmed that the amount generated was a new UK record and the first time that fossil fuel plants had been dwarfed by the outputs of clean and green renewable energy sources, combined with nuclear power. (The latter provided 23pc of the total energy mix at measurement point.)

As a result of the surge, traditional gas-fired power plants were able to reduce production capacity in order to allow the renewable output to experience the full surge.

Market prices also dropped into the negatives thanks to the renewable boom and meant that National Grid had to pay primary energy users in order to increase their power usage. This prevented the grid from becoming overwhelmed with an excess of supply.

This is the first period in which the National Grid has been forced to begin using the 'demand turn-up' programme, which pays six appointed businesses - chosen through the auction process - to take on excess supply for their operation. The approach prevents energy companies from being paid to cease generation and supports the national industrial strategy by facilitating extra economic production when energy spikes can be met with operational uptime increases.

National Grid said that consumers will save over half a million pounds this summer as a result.