English consultancy Cornwall Insights today produced more evidence renewable energy sources are carrying the Covid-19 lockdown electricity mix, with gas and coal generation relegated to load peaking services.
The analyst calculated falls in power demand and in the carbon intensity of electricity generated in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. from March 23, when the U.K. lockdown started, until April 20. Year-on-year falls in average demand ranged from 11.5% in Germany to 17.2% in the U.K. and carbon intensity reductions varied from 15.9% in Italy to 35.9% in Germany.
“Many system operators are now proving able to manage grids at 70% or more renewable energy and with a much lower level of demand than would, even a few months ago, have been expected,” said Tom Andrews, senior analyst at Cornwall Insight. “The generation balance is likely to return to normal as countries come off lockdown. However, this has demonstrated that managing a grid with high renewable penetration is feasible. This may become the new normal as more renewable generation is deployed across Europe.”