The silver lining to the UK’s miserable summer weather

In this blog, we discuss the weather this summer, from heatwaves to miserable rainy days, and what this has meant for renewable generation this year.

At the beginning of summer, the UK experienced its hottest June on record, and with clear sunny skies and longer summer days, solar generation was high, balancing demand. However, since then, the UK has experienced a stretch of typical English weather throughout July, with overcast skies, breezy days and rainfall, and, with the lack of sunlight, we saw solar generation decrease. 

However, whilst we have all been missing the sunshine, there has been one positive: high wind generation! Recent data from the National Grid ESO has shown that 29% of the UK’s electricity in July came from wind generation, rising significantly from the past month, where wind power accounted for 19.2% of the overall generation mix. Also, throughout the entirety of July, 52% of Britain’s energy came from low-carbon sources, peaking on 15 July at 3 pm, producing a remarkable 86%! 

Such high renewable energy generation has played a key role this summer to keep energy prices down despite continued disruptions to gas supplies due to unplanned Norwegian outages and maintenance on facilities in the North Sea. Moving forward, increasing renewable generation in the UK will help reduce prices for consumers in the long term, with wind especially prominent in lowering energy prices as one of the cheapest methods of generating renewable energy.

However, whilst it is great to see renewable generation on the rise, hitting new records of 41.5% generation and surpassing gas in 2022, the UK still has a way to go, with the latest government figures revealing the UK’s renewable capacity has fallen to an average increase of 4.45% in the past three years, compared to 9.67% globally. 

To reduce our reliability on fossil fuels, decrease energy prices and meet our net zero targets, further investment in renewables is needed, and with the increase in renewable capacity, we can take advantage of whatever the English weather has to offer, come wind, rain or shine.