UK’s hottest day of the year breaks solar energy record

Anna Schaverien
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Today's stunning weather led to a solar power world record (Source: Getty)

The warmest day of the year today broke the UK’s record for energy generated from solar panels.

Solar panels owned by the National Grid generated 8.73 gigawatts of energy at their peak today, smashing the previous record of 8.48 gigawatts.

The National Grid said the energy produced was 24.3 per cent of the day’s demand.

The new record, tracked by the University of Sheffield’s research centre, comes as temperatures soared to more than 28 degrees in some parts of the country, making it Britain’s hottest day of the year so far.

But what does 8.73 gigawatts actually mean?

One GwH can power one million homes for an hour, so today’s sunshine could be used to provide electricity for millions of households.

Solar energy, wind power, and other renewable energy sources currently account for more than 20 per cent of the UK’s electricity.

Renewable energy is enjoying its day in the sun - only a month ago, the UK marked its first day without coal since the Industrial Revolution.

In London, Thames Water recently installed Europe’s biggest floating solar panel farm, consisting of 23,000 photovoltaic panels, which is expected to generate enough energy to supply 1,800 homes with power in its first year.

Renewable energy was also mentioned in both Conservative and Labour party manifestos.

Jeremy Corbyn promised voters: “We are committed to renewable energy projects, including tidal lagoons, which can help create manufacturing and energy jobs as well as contributing to climate change commitments.”

While Theresa May’s manifesto said: “We will maintain our position as a global leader in offshore wind and support the development of wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland, where they will directly benefit local communities.”

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