|Grid carbon intensity is high; please do not run big appliances such as a dishwasher or washing machine now if you can postpone|
You might have saved as much as 18% carbon emissions by choosing the best time to run your washing and other major loads.
Latest data is from Sun Jul 25 09:00:00 UTC 2021. 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 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 about whether this marginal cost calculation reflects reality, ie in practice is there simply a gas turbine somewhere that gets spun up a little 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 315gCO2/kWh including transmission and distribution losses of 7%.
Latest available grid generation carbon intensity (ignoring transmission/distribution losses) is approximately 294gCO2/kWh at Sun Jul 25 09:00:00 UTC 2021 over 26068MW of generation, with a rolling average over 24h of 267gCO2/kWh.
Minimum grid generation carbon intensity (ignoring transmission/distribution losses) was approximately 243gCO2/kWh at Sun Jul 25 01:20:00 UTC 2021.
Maximum grid generation carbon intensity (ignoring transmission/distribution losses) was approximately 294gCO2/kWh at Sun Jul 25 08:55:00 UTC 2021.
Average/mean grid generation carbon intensity (ignoring transmission/distribution losses) was approximately 267gCO2/kWh over the sample data set, with an effective end-user intensity including transmission and distribution losses of 286gCO2/kWh.
|Recent mean GMT hourly generation intensity gCO2/kWh (average=267); *now (=294)|
|Mean GMT hourly generation GW (all, zero-carbon)|
Hours that are basically green, but in which there is draw-down from grid-connected storage with its attendant energy losses and also suggesting that little or no excess non-dispatchable generation is available, ie that are marginally green, are shaded olive.
Current/latest fuel mix at Sun Jul 25 09:00:00 UTC 2021: BIOMASS@1681MW CCGT@13889MW COAL@878MW INTELEC@0MW INTEW@0MW INTFR@1904MW INTIFAD@703MW INTIRL@0MW INTNED@953MW INTNEM@950MW INTNSL@0MW NPSHYD@172MW NUCLEAR@3707MW OCGT@1MW OIL@0MW OTHER@157MW PS@150MW WIND@923MW.
Current draw-down from storage is 150MW.
Generation by fuel category (may overlap):
Overall generation intensity (kgCO2/kWh) computed using the following fuel intensities (other fuels/sources are ignored): BIOMASS=0.3 CCGT=0.36 COAL=0.91 INTELEC=0.09 INTEW=0.45 INTFR=0.09 INTIFAD=0.09 INTIRL=0.45 INTNED=0.55 INTNEM=0.55 INTNSL=0.016 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): BIOMASS=0.7514 CCGT=0.8922 COAL=0.8475 INTFR=0.4519 INTIFAD=-0.0145 INTNED=0.6937 INTNEM=0.5967 NPSHYD=0.6783 NUCLEAR=0.1714 OCGT=-0.0277 OTHER=0.6244 WIND=-0.1748.
Key to fuel codes:
This estimates 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.
(Colours are wrt the last 24h of data.)
This page updated at Sun Jul 25 09:01:06 UTC 2021; generation time 4305ms.
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:
(Please email me if you use this mechanism, to be alerted to changes.)
This free service may be unavailable or withdrawn at any time and is provided "as-is" with no warranties of any kind.
Some data used to generate this page is licensed from ELEXON.
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