Biomass takes record share of UK grid in May

02/06/2020 09:03 Renewable


Biomass-fired power took a record share of the UK generation mix for the second consecutive month in May. Overall UK power demand continued to decline as the country remained in lockdown to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Biomass-fired generation accounted for 8.8pc of the UK power mix in May, up from 7.98pc in April — the previous record — and 6.9pc in May 2019, data from Drax and Imperial College London show.


Power demand has fallen since the government implemented lockdown measures on 23 March. Grid demand fell to an average of 25.76GW in May, down by 3.9pc from April and 22.2pc from March.


Biomass-fired generation rose to 2.33GW in May, up by 6.9pc on the month and 11pc on the year. Total biomass output reached 1.73TWh in May, up from 1.57TWh a month earlier and 1.56TWh in May 2019.


UK utility Drax had eight days of outages across its three 645MW biomass base-load units at Selby in North Yorkshire in May, and a further 11 days at its 645MW peak-load biomass-fired unit 4.


There were seven outage days at the three base-load units in May 2019, while unit 4 was offline for all of May.


And Czech-Slovak utility EPH's 396MW Lynemouth plant in northeast England ran at 84.24pc of capacity in May, down from 87.24pc in April, but up from 58.29pc in May 2019.


The UK has recorded no coal-fired generation since 9 April.


In February, the UK brought forward the phase-out of coal-fired power in Great Britain to October 2024 from 2025.


Gas remained the largest contributor to the UK grid in May, with 7.28GW, or 27.88pc, of the mix. Nuclear overtook wind to become the second largest source for the grid. Nuclear provided 5.54GW, taking a 20.96pc share, while wind generation averaged 5.42GW, accounting for 20.43pc.

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