Lowest ever peak demand thanks to solar

The increase in the UK’s solar PV generation has contributed to the National Grid forecasting its “lowest ever” peak level demand this summer.

At 37.5GW, the National Grid’s estimate of peak demand, published in their summer outlook, is 900MW lower than the same figure for last year.

The rise in solar PV generation capacity within the UK, which has grown from 2.4GW in February 2014 to 4.4GW in February this year, has contributed to the drop, the National Grid reported.

The report said the drop in peak demand was due to the fact that the time of peak summer demand is between midday and the afternoon, which coincides with the time when solar panels generate the most energy.

It is expected that solar PV generation in the UK is set to continue increasing over the next few years, reducing the peak demand even further.

The National Grid estimates that solar PV generation capacity will be up to 5.5GW by February 2016, the equivalent of adding 90MW of capacity to the grid every month for the next year.

Solar PV generation soared in the UK over the last year, seeing a 93% increase throughout 2014, according to the Department for Energy and Climate Change. The total generation for the year reached 3.9TWh, more than 6% of the UK’s total renewable energy generation in 2014.