Britain’s Electricity Explained: 2023 ESO Review

The Electricity System Operator has recently published its review of how the UK generated electricity in 2023. Find out all about it below:

The ESO reported that several records were broken in 2023 which helped move toward the ambition for periods of zero-carbon operations by 2025. Factors including new wind & solar generation, carbon intensity and zero-carbon generation helped produce the following records:

  • Wind Generation Providing Over 21GW of Electricity
  • Maximum Zero Carbon Record of 87.6% on 4th January
  • Highest Ever Solar Power at 10.971GW on 20th April
  • Minimum Carbon Intensity at 27 gCo2/kWh

Britain’s electricity mix across 2023 saw a wide array of sources contribute, although gas still led the way at 32%, wind was the second most used source with 29.4%, with nuclear in third at 14.2%. Despite gas generation still being the greatest, its use was the lowest since 2015 and coal was responsible for only 1% of generation in 2023, a reduction from 39.6% in 2013.

Electricity from wind turbines has also continued to grow, with a highest share of wind generation on 19th November between 4:30 and 5:00am, accounting for 69%. Moreover, zero-carbon electricity sources contributed over 50% of the mix in the months of January, July and October.

Overall, zero-carbon sources outstripped fossil fuel generation in 2023 providing 51% of electricity used.