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UK’s new record for solar power generation – beating nuclear and coal power on 26 May

Solar power reaches a record high as it surges past nuclear and coal 26 MAY 2017  The bank holiday heatwave has started with a new record for solar power generation which blazed to a quarter of the electricity mix on Friday afternoon.

The nation’s solar panels scorched the previous record set last month by generating 8.7GW of power, more than nuclear and coal power combined.

Solar power was the second most used generating technology behind gas-fired power and made up around 25pc of the UK’s electricity, its highest ever share of the market on a working week day.The UK now has just over 12GW of solar power in place, the same production capacity as eight new-generation nuclear reactors.

Paul Barwell, the chief executive of the solar trade association, said: “This is a colossal achievement in just 5 years, and sends a very positive message to the UK that solar has a strong place in the decarbonisation of the UK energy sector.”

The boom in solar panels in recent years, fuelled by subsidies, has far exceeded expectations. The panels feed the power they produce directly into homes or the local electricity grid, cutting demand on the national system to what is expected to be a record low this year.

National Grid said the renewable generation boom poseschallenge to its role balancing supply and demand on the national transmission network second by second.
Duncan Burt, who is responsible for National Grid’s control room said the ability to forecast weather patterns is becoming more significant.“We have an expert team of forecasters who monitor a range of data, to forecast just how much electricity will be needed over a set period,” he said.

“We have planned for these changes to the energy landscape and have the tools available to ensure we can balance supply and demand. It really is the beginning of a new era, which we are prepared for and excited to play our part,” he said.The Government closed off funding for solar projects through its Renewables Obligation scheme in April 2015, allowing a modest grace period for some developers to roll out new sites until April last year. This helped the boom to continue ahead of last summer, but new projects are expected to hit a lull for the next year or two.

Jamie Stewart, a senior power expert at market data provider Icis, said the ebb will give way to a renewed surge in new solar projects because plummeting costs mean it will no longer need Government handouts.

“When this grid parity is reached, the UK can expect to see a lot more solar power put in place up and down the country,” he said.

Abid Kazim, managing director of NextEnergy Capital, said on Thursday at an industry event that he plans to invest in subsidy free solar because the cost of the technology is “collapsing”.

“In energy price terms, solar is low-cost and mostly produces cheap electricity during peak demand hours from 07:00-19:00. This means at peak times it keeps down wholesale power prices, which make up around 45pc of a household bill,” Mr Stewart said.


May 27, 2017 - Posted by | renewable, UK

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