Q1 2023: Power system records

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Dr Iain Staffell, Professor Richard Green, Professor Tim Green and Nathan Johnson – Imperial College London, Dr Malte Jansen – University of Sussex, Professor Rob Gross – UK Energy Research Centre

Wind power had a record-breaking quarter, producing more than 20 GW sustained over a whole day on 11 January, and hitting its highest ever peak output the day before.  The daily average output from all renewable sources rose above 22.8 GW on 31 January, beating the previous record by more than 1 GW.  Conversely, output from all fossil fuels fell to a new minimum of less than 4 GW for the first time on 24 March.  Britain also saw its lowest ever carbon intensity of electricity, falling to just 15 g/kWh. Nuclear hit several new minima, having both its worst day and month in February.

The tables below look over the past decade (2009 to 2022) and report the record output and share of electricity generation, plus sustained averages over a day, a month and a calendar year.  Cells highlighted in blue are records that were broken in the fourth quarter of 2022.  Each number links to the date it occurred on the Electric Insights website, so these records can be explored visually.

[1] Note that Britain has no inter-seasonal electricity storage, so we only report on half-hourly and daily records.  Elexon and National Grid only report the output of large pumped hydro storage plants.  The operation of battery, flywheel and other storage sites is not publicly available.

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