South West’s grid goes 100% green thanks to nuclear and solar
28 April 2021
Nuclear power from Hinkley Point B and strong solar output meant the South West’s electricity grid was 100% green at times over this weekend. The carbon intensity of electricity – the measure of CO2 emissions per unit of electricity consumed – dropped to 0 gCO2/kWh on Sunday, and averaged 22 gCO2/kWh over both days, the lowest figure in at least fifteen months.
Over the four days between Thursday 22nd and Sunday 25th, the region had the cleanest power in Britain, according to data from the National Grid ESO Control Room.
The South West has long relied on nuclear power for clean, reliable electricity: Hinkley Point B has produced more clean electricity and saved more emissions, 227 million tonnes, than any other single power station in British history. The station will move to decommissioning next year after 46 years of service, outperforming its original expected lifetime by at least 20 years. Hinkley Point C, at 3.2 GWe, will save nine million tonnes of emissions per year, providing enough power for six million homes across Britain.
Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said:
“This performance shows that nuclear power, in partnership with renewables, is essential to reaching net zero. To do that, we need to build new nuclear power stations urgently alongside renewable capacity. Hinkley Point C should represent just the beginning of a programme of nuclear construction to realise the net zero vision set out in the Energy White Paper and Ten Point Plan.
“Nuclear investment delivers major emission reductions and secures tens of thousands of skilled, high-quality jobs across the supply chain: that is what we need to kickstart a green recovery and our transition to a green economy.”