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April 2020 UK records peak solar generation & a decline in pollution

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Solar power generates almost 30% of all energy in the UK, and to measure its efficiency, the power generated is constantly measured. The University Of Sheffield has a live PV generation tracker that is used to track all power generated in the UK by solar power. It is updated every 30 mins during the daytime.

On the 13th of May 2019, the live PV generation tracker recorded 9.55GW, the highest number ever, until the 20th of April 2020, when it recorded 9.67GW, the highest ever since 2019. The cool temperature and clear skies have fast-tracked UK’s solar generation, which reached its record high on Monday, 20 April 2020.

The increased supply of solar power to the grid contributed to the longest coal-free period for the grid in 2020, with more than 11.5 days passed at the time of writing.
Chief Hewett, the Chief Executive of the UK’s leading solar body, STA (Solar Trade Association), said that the out-of-the-ordinary weather conditions coupled with the declining pollution levels have allowed the country to harness the cheap solar power and feed clean energy into the grid.

According to the BBC Report, COVID-19 lockdown is the reason behind the significantly low levels of pollution contributing to clearer conditions. This, coupled with relatively cool temperatures, created optimal conditions for maximising solar PV efficiency. Should these conditions persist, it is expected that more solar generation will continue to grow at a record level.

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