2016 vs 2017

[corrected at 11pm on Sunday 2nd April 2017]

In this page I chart how electricity so far this year compared to the same period last year. This is done using a series of charts with commentary provided through my blogs.

All of the charts are automatically recalculated on a monthly basis.

A blog piece on the data as it stood at the beginning of April 2017 can be found here.


The changing electricity mix

In these charts we see the percentage difference in energy generated by different electricity sources. Year on year differences are due to installation of new power stations, closure of older power stations (e.g. the coal shutdown) or growth in renewables.

Change in electricity generation by source (percentage) , Jan-Apr 2017 versus Jan-Apr 2016

Source: www.MyGridGB.co.uk, Elexon Portal, Sheffield University

In the following chart, we see the change in the amount of electricity generated by each type of electricity source. This also gives a perspective for the generation mix (the relative amount of electricity Britain generates from different power stations). A big story in 2016 will be whether wind generation exceeds coal generation.

Change in electricity generation by source, Jan-Apr 2017 versus Jan-Apr 2016

Source: www.MyGridGB.co.uk, Elexon Portal, Sheffield University


The changing demand for electricity

In this chart we see how our demand for electricity has changed year on year. Electricity demand will change year on year due to changes in industry, economic growth (or contraction), deployment of more efficient electrical equipment and electrification of transport (electric cars) and heat (heat pumps)

Demand for British electricity, Jan-Apr 2017 versus Jan-Apr 2016

Source: www.MyGridGB.co.uk, Elexon Portal, Sheffield University


The “greening” of our electricity mix

In this chart we see the difference in the amount of greenhouse gas produced for every unit of electricity produced. As more and more low carbon generation is added to the electricity system and more polluting sources are decommissioned, the amount of carbon used to make every unit of electricity should fall.

Change in carbon intensity of electricity Jan-Apr 2017 versus Jan-Apr 2016

Source: www.MyGridGB.co.uk, Elexon Portal, Sheffield University


Overall emissions of greenhouse gas

However, if the rate at which electricity consumption rises faster than the introduction of low carbon generation then the total amount of carbon released into the atmosphere will change. The following chart shows how this compares year on year.

Total greenhouse gas emissions, Jan-Apr 2017 versus Jan-Apr 2016

Source: www.MyGridGB.co.uk, Elexon Portal, Sheffield University


Overall electricity mix

British electricity Mix, 1 Jan 2017 – 23 May 2017

*Embedded wind is turbines and wind farms which are not connected directly to the grid but to the local network. These are not metered so I provide estimated values.

Source: www.MyGridGB.co.uk, Elexon Portal, Sheffield University


Switching off coal power stations

There is much interest in coal power stations in Great Britain being switched off. The chart below updates every hour to track the number of hours this has occurred in 2017 versus the number of hours without coal power in 2016. Let the battle commence!

Hours with no coal generation, 2016 vs 2017 to date

Source: www.MyGridGB.co.uk, Elexon Portal