The Daily Telegraph

Spells of fully zero-carbon power by 2025

- By Olivia Rudgard environmen­t correspond­ent

THE electricit­y grid will operate for periods of time powered fully by renewable fuel by 2025, its operator has said.

A report from National Grid Electricit­y Systems Operator (ESO) said that within four years it will have overhauled the electricit­y system so that when there is enough available from zero-carbon sources, it can provide all the power supply.

At present, the control room needs to draw on convention­al power plants to provide stability to the grid, which means it has to keep sources such as gas on line even if all demand could be met by zero-carbon power. But National Grid ESO said it was working to find ways to source “inertia” – energy in the spinning turbines of power plants which helps keep the grid stable – such as from hydropower stations, or repurposed gas turbines.

This means that by 2025, the British electricit­y system can run on 100 per cent zero-carbon electricit­y, meeting an ambition set out by the operator in 2019 and helping put Britain on track to decarbonis­e the grid by 2035 to meet climate targets, it said.

Fintan Slye, executive director of National Grid ESO, said: “We’re confident that by 2025 we will have periods of 100 per cent zero-carbon electricit­y, with no fossil fuels used to generate power. The growth in renewable sources of power, with record levels of wind and solar, means there will be enough zerocarbon generation to meet demand.”

Britain’s grid has transforme­d rapidly, with coal’s share of generation falling from 25 per cent of power five years ago to 1.6 per cent last year, when there was a 68-day run without the polluting fossil fuel.

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