Renewable Energy – Looking to Summer
There are many things that indicates that Summer is on the way… be it the daffodil heads popping up, the lighter evenings, the promise of the long May Bank Holidays weekends and, of course, the change of the UK’s energy mix.
As I started to consider my latest blog for WUN, the first weeks of March 2023 held the UK in the grip of a cold snap (not quite the Beast from the East!) . This resulted in coal generators being called upon by National Grid to supplement increased consumer demand. Bringing more volatility into an already bullish power market.
The UK has some big ambitions to de-carbonise our Grid, developing future renewables and research into alternative fuel such as hydrogen scale up at pace. You only have to look back to the news on Easter Sunday 2021 that marked a landmark day when the UK power needs were met solely by renewable generation. Now we are heading to May, the Sun is making a welcome return so we can also hope new records will be set on Solar generation levels in the UK.
On the 26th April, I experienced first-hand how the UK is approaching developing more sustainable forms of Energy Generation by visiting a EDF Renewables development – West Benhar Windfarm. This is a 7-turbine wind farm capable of powering up to 18,000 homes located near Shotts in North Lanarkshire. The commitment that the project team at EDF Renewables have shown to make the peat and bog ridden ground around the side suitable to support the giant turbines. Just shows the challenges that UK must face developing new and lasting technologies to power the UK grid of the future.
Looking at where other countries in the world are heading to de-carbonise, on the 21st March, the United States marked National Renewable Energy Day – giving a focus on where the market in the US is heading with the adoption of more renewable projects. In a country that, in my lifetime, has had a dependency on the wealth of oil reserves, this change is showing how much the world is waking up to the challenges of future energy supply. The drive is also being seen across Europe to generate their own clean renewable energy and move away from the reliance of imported gas.
Heading back to the UK and into summer 2023 Trading, the many solar PV Generators across the UK grid will start to meet more of our needs and that will bring other opportunities such as optimising Generators with existing Battery storage and participating in National Grid schemes to bring flexibility and reliability for all the demands we, the consumers, throw at it!
Let us wait to see if the rest of Summer 23 will be another record-breaking trading season for Renewable Power.
Karen Hosking – WUN Advocate