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UK renewables prove a shining success during Covid19 pandemic

During the Spring months of 2020, ample sun and wind, combined with low electricity demand, lead to unprecedented use of green energy in the UK.

At a time when huge swaths of the UK economy were suffering from the coronavirus downturn, one sector had a relatively good crisis: renewable energy.

Records for clean energy were broken repeatedly, as the combination of ample sun and wind, and low electricity demand led to an unprecedented level of use of renewable power in the UK.

A new record for sun power was set in April — with solar farms powering nearly 30 per cent of the grid at their peak, due to bright weather and low pollution.

The UK also set a new record coal-free run of more than two-months, making it the longest period since the industrial revolution the country has not used electricity produced using the fossil fuel. The total coal-free period lasted 67 days, 22 hours and 55 minutes, and ended on 16th June 2020 when the Drax power station in north Yorkshire brought one of its coal units online for maintenance, during which time it added some power to the national grid.

A big drop in electricity demand since the UK lockdown started in March also pushed some traditional power plants off the grid entirely, but wind and solar have kept servicing the need as they have preferential access to the grid.

These conditions have created an unexpected glimpse of what the UK grid will look like in future as more clean energy comes online, according to National Grid.

Although low power prices typically hurt power producers, most UK wind and solar farms are protected from the volatility of the market price by subsidies or offtake agreements that guarantee a certain price.

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