Blog / Record-breaking renewables contribute more than half of the UK’s electricity on single day

Record-breaking renewables contribute more than half of the UK’s electricity on single day

30th January 2020

Renewable energy sources have written themselves into the record books and the history books in the UK, generating more than 50% of the country’s energy on a single day in June.

7th June was an early summer day characterised by both good sunlight and high winds, which boosted electricity output. The National Grid later confirmed that the Wednesday lunchtime saw a record 19.3 GW contributed to the grid by renewable sources.

The data was released by Drax through their Electric Insights portal, which aggregates information about the different energy sources which contribute to the national grid at any given point in time. The data was subsequently picked up by national media outlets including the Guardian, the Telegraph, and the BBC.

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For the first time ever, renewable energy sources were contributing 50.7% of the UK’s energy – when combined with nuclear power, the total proportion accounted for over 70% of the country’s energy. The renewable mix included wind, solar, hydro and wood pellet burning. Natural gas was the next biggest source, at just a fraction more than 20%.

The news is another positive development for the renewable energy industry in the UK, which has gone from strength to strength. On Friday 26th May, a new solar power record was set which saw 8.7 GW generated, almost a quarter of demand at the time.

Earlier in May, a new record was also set by a tidal turbine for continuous energy generation. The 2 MW machine produced 18 MWh over 24 hours, comparable to a small wind turbine.

Alongside these developments, the UK became the home of the world’s largest and most powerful wind turbines. The 8 MW models were installed at the Burbo Bank Extension, just off the coast of Liverpool. This further enhances the status of the UK as a world leader in offshore wind.

These developments are a demonstration of the positive steps being taken by renewable energy industry leaders in the UK, who are keen to establish the importance of green energy and to explore the potential of new technologies.

All of this comes against the wider backdrop of renewable energy success stories across Europe, too. On 6th June almost 3% of energy demand across the European Union was met by offshore wind farms.

The best news for the UK is that summer is only just beginning, and there are bound to be more sunny, windy (and, let’s face it, rainy) days to come; hopefully, they can play a significant role in keeping the lights on across the country.

The numbers: On Wednesday 7th June…

Wind contributed 9.5 GW

Solar contributed 7.6 GW

Biomass contributed 2 GW

Hydroelectric contributed 200 MW

… to the UK grid.