Britain’s national grid will be ready to operate with zero carbon by 2025, its operating firm has announced in a new report.

The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO), which is a legally separate business within the National Grid Group, says the switch to zero carbon will help address the threat of climate change, and lead to lower running costs and better value for consumers.

Fintan Slye, Director of ESO, said: “Zero carbon operation of the electricity system by 2025 means a fundamental change to how our system was designed to operate; integrating newer technologies right across the system – from large-scale off-shore wind to domestic scale solar panels – and increasing demand-side participation, using new smart digital systems to manage and control the system in real-time.

“Operating a zero-carbon electricity system in 2025, whenever there is sufficient renewable generation, is a major stepping stone to full decarbonisation of the entire electricity system; enabling new technologies and removing barriers to ever increasing levels of renewables.”

The ESO report, Zero carbon operation of the electricity system by 2025′, sets out the key challenges, including frequency management, inertia and short circuit infeed, voltage management and situational awareness.

The report states that new products and services to address these challenges will be procured through new markets, and that competition will drive down costs.

It also proposes a six-year timeline for the gradual switchover to zero-carbon operation.

Mr Slye said: “In 2018, ESO managed a number of records on the electricity system – including wind generation in Great Britain exceeding 15GW for the first time and no coal on the system for 72 consecutive hours.”

In the last quarter of 2018, renewables share of generation was 37.1%, up 7% on the same period in 2017.

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