Solar power sets new electricity record supplying a quarter of UK demand

Solar panels have set a new record for electricity generation, providing nearly a quarter of the demand.

As much of Britain basked in warm and sunny weather, solar produced some 8.7 gigawatts at midday on Friday, representing 24.3 per cent of the electricity being used at the time, the National Grid has revealed.

The previous record was set on 10 May when 8.48GW was generated by solar, which tends to peak at about lunchtime.

Duncan Burt, who is in charge of National Grid’s control room operations, where they match supply and demand, said: “We now have significant volumes of renewable energy on the system and as this trend continues, our ability to forecast these patterns is becoming more and more important.

Paul Barwell, chief executive of the Solar Trade Association, said this was the first time that solar has generated more electricity than nuclear with only gas supplying more.

“This is a colossal achievement … and sends a very positive message to the UK that solar has a strong place in the decarbonisation of the UK energy sector,” he said.

Environmentalists also welcomed the news, saying it showed how important the sector was becoming to the UK economy.

Hannah Martin, Greenpeace UK’s head of energy, said: “Britain has just hit another milestone in its effort to harness the increasingly cheaper energy coming from the sun.

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