Avoid running big appliances at home when the traffic lights are on RED and you'll reduce your carbon footprint!
|Grid is OK; but you could still avoid CO2 emissions by postponing running big appliances such as dishwashers or washing machines|
You might have saved as much as 24% carbon emissions by choosing the best time to run your washing and other major loads.
Latest data is from Thu Mar 23 06:10:00 UTC 2017. This page should be updated every few minutes: use your browser's refresh/reload button if you need to check again.
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This page shows the current "carbon intensity" of the GB National Grid (ie the England/Scotland/Wales portions of the UK electricity grid) as a simple traffic-light indicator. Carbon intensity is a measure of how much greenhouse-house gas (especially CO2 or carbon dioxide) is emitted to generate a fixed amount of electricity.
Anything other than a GREEN light suggests that you should consider deferring heavy loads (eg starting a dishwasher or washing-machine at home) because the carbon intensity is relatively high, or because of other factors. Avoiding running major appliances such as washing/heating/cooking during RED times will save CO2 emissions.
You should still conserve first: don't run things that don't need to be run at all, don't leave things on that can be turned off at the wall, run full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher, etc, etc, before worrying about carbon intensity.
Planning ahead: note that in the UK/GB peak demand for electricity will usually be 4pm to 9pm especially on week days in winter (and a lesser peak around 9am/10am), and peak carbon intensity is often around peak demand, so try to avoid big loads then; if possible run loads such as your dishwasher and washing machine overnight, eg on a delay timer or just as you go to bed, or if you have local microgeneration that can cover much/all of the load.
There is argument (eg here) about whether this marginal cost calculation reflects reality, ie in practice is it simply a gas turbine that gets spun up a little more if you demand extra power. There is much less argument about the value of lowering demand generally, and about lowering peak demand on various parts of the infrastructure.
Shifting loads to the night when energy is going into grid-scale storage such as pumped hydro, avoids pulling it out when you would otherwise run/dispatch the load, and thus saves round-trip losses of ~25% for that load.
You don't need to understand the numbers below, but some people like to see them!
Effective grid carbon intensity for a domestic user is currently 261gCO2/kWh including transmission and distribution losses of 7%.
Latest available grid generation carbon intensity (ignoring transmission/distribution losses) is approximately 244gCO2/kWh at Thu Mar 23 06:10:00 UTC 2017 over 31159MW of generation, with a rolling average over 24h of 257gCO2/kWh.
Minimum grid generation carbon intensity (ignoring transmission/distribution losses) was approximately 219gCO2/kWh at Thu Mar 23 04:30:00 UTC 2017.
Maximum grid generation carbon intensity (ignoring transmission/distribution losses) was approximately 287gCO2/kWh at Wed Mar 22 19:00:00 UTC 2017.
Average/mean grid generation carbon intensity (ignoring transmission/distribution losses) was approximately 257gCO2/kWh over the sample data set, with an effective end-user intensity including transmission and distribution losses of 275gCO2/kWh.
|Recent mean GMT hourly generation intensity gCO2/kWh (average=257); *now (=244)|
|Mean GMT hourly generation GW (all, zero-carbon)|
Current/latest fuel mix at Thu Mar 23 06:10:00 UTC 2017: CCGT@12090MW COAL@2005MW INTEW@0MW INTFR@1996MW INTIRL@148MW INTNED@985MW NPSHYD@789MW NUCLEAR@7337MW OCGT@0MW OIL@0MW OTHER@2091MW PS@0MW WIND@3718MW.
Generation by fuel category (may overlap):
Overall generation intensity (kgCO2/kWh) computed using the following fuel intensities (other fuels/sources are ignored): CCGT=0.36 COAL=0.91 INTEW=0.45 INTFR=0.09 INTIRL=0.45 INTNED=0.55 NPSHYD=0.0 NUCLEAR=0.0 OCGT=0.48 OIL=0.61 OTHER=0.3 WIND=0.0.
Rolling correlation of fuel use against grid intensity (-ve implies that this fuel reduces grid intensity for non-callable sources): CCGT=0.9619 COAL=0.9656 INTFR=0.2282 INTIRL=-0.5831 INTNED=0.7004 NPSHYD=0.8933 NUCLEAR=-0.5249 OTHER=-0.3567 WIND=0.5608.
Key to fuel codes:
This estimates the the carbon intensity of generation connected to the National Grid GB (Great Britain) high-voltage transmission system, ignoring (pumped) storage and exports but including imports via interconnectors. This excludes 'embedded' generation, eg connected directly to the distribution system, such as small diesels, domestic microgeneration and a significant chunk of wind power, all of which also benefits from reduced transmission/distribution losses, so actual intensity may be somewhat different to (and probably lower than) that reported. However the emissions cost of each marginal/conserved kWh is probably accurately reflected.
This page updated at Thu Mar 23 06:11:11 UTC 2017; generation time 9346ms.
Poll every 10 minutes for 404 HTTP status code (404 means green, 200 means not green, anything else is 'unknown' status due to server/network/other problems) for automated systems:
See code on GitHub.
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Some data used to generate this page is licensed from ELEXON.
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