Imperial researchers find half of Britain's electricity is now low carbon


Imperial researchers find half of Britain's electricity is now low carbon

A new website and report from researchers at Imperial College London is tracking the evolution of Britain's electricity market.

A new quarterly report, Electric Insights from Dr Iain Staffell of the Centre of Environmental Policy, is highlighting some important changes in Britain’s electricity system. The first report shows that low-carbon energy sources produced more than half of our electricity over the previous quarter, and carbon emissions have been cut by 50% over the last five years.

Electric Insights creates not only a regular analysis of how Britain generates its electricity but also provides insight into the raw data and brings to life the stories hidden within it. Dr Staffell is producing the report in conjunction with Professor Tim Green, Director of Energy Futures Lab; Dr Rob Gross, Director of the Imperial Centre for Energy Policy and Technology; and Professor Richard Green of Imperial College Business School.  The project was commissioned by Drax Group, owners of the largest biomass power station in Europe, and was facilitated by Imperial Consultants.

“I was intrigued when I was first approached by Drax with the idea of producing a free, transparent tool for understanding our electricity system” says Dr Staffell, “It very much plays to both my strengths and Imperial’s. With our data analytic skills and insights from across the spectrum of engineering, economics and policy, we can add real value to what can be complex and impenetrable data.”

Electric Insights consists of a live website that shows real-time information on Britain’s power system, with historic data spanning back over 7 years.  This is backed up by reports which will be published each quarter and go deeper into the trends and events surrounding demand, power generation, wholesale energy prices, network issues and carbon emissions. Most importantly, the reports are independently written and edited and use publicly available data throughout, and the team will make their data available to others.

“This report shows Britain’s energy system is changing dramatically and we are seeing real benefits,” says Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO, “Cleaner energy has reached a record high, and carbon emissions from electricity hit a record low. We can also see the crucial role that policy levers like the Carbon Price Floor play."

The first report was published on 14 November and is available from the Electric Insights website. A new report will be released every three months with all previous reports and data available at all times from the website.


Neasan O'Neill

Neasan O'Neill
Faculty of Engineering

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