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National Grid ESO hails 2020 as the greenest year ever for Britain’s electricity

The country was powered coal-free for around 5,147 hours last year, compared with 3,666 hours in 2019

Britain’s electricity system saw the greenest year on record in 2020.

The electricity system operator National Grid ESO, which analysed the yearly data, suggests the country was powered coal-free for around 5,147 hours in 2020, compared with 3,666 hours in 2019, 1,856 in 2018 and 624 in 2017.

The report shows the record for the highest-ever level of wind generation was broken several times last year while on 26th August, the electricity system saw wind contributing its record high share to the electricity mix, an estimated 59.9%.

According to National Grid’s data,  solar power also set new records with its highest share in the mix, an estimated 34%.

Rob Rome, Interim Head of National Control at National Grid ESO, said: “2020 has been a record-breaking year for Great Britain’s electricity system. The grid continues to transform at an astonishing rate as we move away from fossil fuel generation and harness the growth of renewable power sources.

“In our role balancing Britain’s electricity supply and demand, we’re continuously innovating with industry to improve the grid’s resilience and make sure it’s ready to exploit the potential of these renewables.

“It’s an exciting time, and the progress we’re seeing with these records underlines the significant strides we’re taking towards our ambition of being able to operate the system carbon-free by 2025.”

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