Monday, 6 June 2016

What Happened in the Peak Week of UK Electricity Consumption in 2016?

In the week of 18th January 2016, which was the week with the highest average electricity demand so far this year, we consumed an average of 38.7 GW . 
But the peak in the year was just over 52 GW, so if we could completely flatten our consumption, we would reduce the need for new power stations by 13 GW. 
Very little of peak demand is met by renewables - an inconvenient truth for low carbon pundits like me - wind and hydro only contributed 8% of the total in that week. Solar will have contributed much less as it is dark at peak times in mid-winter.
Nearly half the demand in the week is still being met by gas. It is agreeable to see that subsequent to the peak weeks, coal fired production fell dramatically - coal fired stations are being decommissioned.
But how will we meet next year's peak? 
It will be much easier to do so without resorting to coal on a big scale if we manage our domestic demand better - that means you, me, and all our neighbours!
Keep spreading the word!