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UK breaks record for solar energy production in May


The UK enjoyed a record-breaking month for solar energy production in May according to data from Refinitiv, the financial data outlet.

Solar power provided around 77GW of electricity In May 2020 – equivalent to 10% of total output. This compares with the previous monthly record, set in April 2020, where solar contributed to 8.1% of the UK’s power output. The largest overall contributions for domestic energy came from gas and nuclear making up 29% and 22% respectively.

Low pollution contributed to May 2020 being the sunniest on record, according to the Met Office, which in turn meant more sunlight for solar generators. Low energy demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic also had a major impact.

Renewables, overall, was responsible for 36% of the UK’s power production in May with wind providing 17%. Biomass also contributed 8.8%.

May also marks the first full calendar month that the UK has gone coal-free with the current period beginning on Friday 10 April.

Wayne Bryan, Director of European Gas Research at Refinitiv, comments: “Last month, renewable generation numbers were very encouraging and gave a glimpse into the future providing belief we can achieve net zero by 2050.

“The UK’s recent rise in the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) only reinforces this with the UK currently ranked 6th globally for renewable investment. The biggest growth is expected in offshore wind, while biomass and offshore wind capacities are also expected to increase.”

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