Data Sources

Carbon Targets

I assume our 2030 carbon target to be 50-100 grams of CO2 equivalent per kWh. This value is taken from the Committee on Climate Change in this report.

Grid data

GB electricity is provided from a number of sources (gas, coal, nuclear etc). The amount that each produces is adjusted in real time in response to the amount of demand, the availability of equipment, maintenance, in response to weather etc. MyGridGB attempts to summarise the amount of generation from each source on a regular basis via Twitter and on this website.

Data about the generation of all sources of energy (except solar) are collected from BM Reports (http://bmreports.com/) via Elexon who work on balancing the supply for electricity with the demand for electricity. They report the total generation from different sources of electricity every 5 minutes.

Solar generation is not presently measured and reported by BM Reports alongside other forms of generation and is “seen” as a dip in demand during the day on websites such as grid watch (http://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/). I therefore blend solar generation data from Sheffield University (http://www.solar.sheffield.ac.uk/pvlive/) with the demand reported by BM Reports. In partnership with National Grid, the university are trying to predict the amount of solar being generated at any given time in Great Britain using a mathematical model.

The solar generation figure is an estimate, and one that will be refined by the University over time.

Embedded Wind

Embedded wind is the thousands of smaller wind turbines which are not directly reported through BM Reports or measured by National Grid. I estimate their output based on the measured wind data that is available and using a register of installed wind capacity available from the UK Government.

A bit of background

I work for a solar energy company but this MyGridGB project is entirely independent of that business and does not reflect the view of my company. I do endeavour to publish facts from reputable sources and state errors as I understand them.

Please do feedback any comments, criticisms or compliments via email at mygridapp@gmail.com.


Carbon Dioxide equivalent estimation

Carbon Dioxide equivalent is the combined effect of all greenhouse gases (not just CO2) from different electricity generation sources over their lifetime. Where CO2 figures are reported, values are taken from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-cycle_greenhouse-gas_emissions_of_energy_sources.
Throughout I use the “median” figures from the following table:
 Technology  Min Median  Max 
 Coal – PC 740 820 910
 Biomass – coffering with coal 620 740 890
 Gas – Combined cycle 410 490 650
 Biomass – dedicated  130 230 420
 Solar PV – Utility Scale 18 48 180
 Solar PV – rooftop 26 41 60
 Geothermal 6.0 38 79
 Concentrated solar power 8.8 27 63
 Hydropower 1.0 24 2200
 Wind – offshore 8.0 12 35
 Nuclear 3.7 12 110
 Wind onshore 7.0 11 56
Lifecycle CO2 equivalent (including albedo effect) from selected electricity supply technologies. Arranged by decreasing median (gCO2eq/kWh) values