The U.K.’s sunniest spring on record has boosted solar power’s share of the electricity mix to new heights. Clear skies throughout May, with low power demand during the coronvirus lockdown, helped the clean power source to provide a new high of 33% of the country’s electricity on May 30, according to Drax Electric Insight’s quarterly report.
Throughout last month solar power supplied an average of 2.6 gigawatts a day — an increase of a quarter over the same period a year ago and a number that dwarfs the 20-megawatt average generation in May 2011.
The abundance of solar generation has meant that the U.K. has been coal-free for a record 53 days, according to National Grid Plc data. Coal stations aren’t used much during the summer months, so stations may not come back until winter when demand normally rises. An earlier report confirmed that renewables supplied more power in the U.K. than fossil fuels in the first quarter of 2020—a first.