The UK recorded a new grid carbon intensity low last weekend, as the country enjoyed extensive periods of fifth carbon budget-compliant power generation.

The new record low – 39g CO2/kWh – was recorded at 3:24pm on Saturday 17 August, and came as wind sent renewables’ contribution to electricity demand soaring.

Data compiled by Drax Electricity Insights shows that, throughout Saturday, renewables provided more than two-thirds (67%) of the country’s power as wind contributed some 43%. When combined with nuclear and other low carbon sources, the country’s low carbon fleet contributed the significant majority – 87% – of UK power.

That resulted in an average grid carbon intensity of 72g CO2/kWh for that 24-hour period, achieved at an average spot price of £31.85/MWh.

Average carbon intensity dipped even lower the following day, Sunday 18 August, to 70g CO2/kWh, triggered by coal dropping off the grid once again.

The UK’s binding fifth carbon budget stipulates that power generation emissions must not rise above 100g CO2/kWh by 2032, setting a target range of between 50g – 100g within the budget’s time frame of 2027 – 2032.

From Friday evening to Monday morning, the UK’s grid carbon intensity dipped to within that target for around 53 hours over the course of two separate spells, running from 23:45 on Friday evening till 19:45 on Saturday evening, and from 21:45 on Saturday evening until 06:45 on Monday morning.

Read more: Current News