National Grid has launched a new online tool which forecasts electricity generation across UK regions 48-hours ahead, enabling users to plan their power use to coincide with surges in greener sources of generation.
The grid operator announced yesterday it has further developed its new tool that forecasts the carbon intensity of electricity generation, so it is now able to provide a two day forecast of CO2 emissions on a region-by-region basis.
The Carbon Intensity website includes a forecasting widget that can help people plan their energy use by switching on devices when energy is greener and reducing power consumption when it is more fossil fuel heavy.
At the time of writing, the website shows south Scotland, North East England and East England are projected to provide the lowest carbon electricity in the UK for the next two days, with South Wales and Yorkshire providing the dirtiest power.
The company worked in partnership with green groups the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and WWF on the software.
With the UK grid having just last month operated for a record 76 consecutive hours without coal power, Duncan Birt, director of the system operator at National Grid, said was the “perfect time” to launch the new forecasting capability.
“This tailored information can tell people in advance when’s best to turn on the washing machine, load the dishwasher or charge the car, helping everyone to use power when it’s cleanest and most likely more cost efficient,” he said. “We’re excited to play our part, helping people to engage with what’s happening in their area and put them at the heart of a modernised electricity grid.”
First launched in September last year, the Carbon Intensity website was designed to forecast the power generation across the UK, but the tool has now been upgraded so forecasts can be broken down by region, incorporating new data based on AI functionality.
Visitors to the website can enter their postcode to find out the carbon emission forecast for their area, as well as view real-time information on the sources of power generation for their area. It also features a league table showing where the greenest regions are across the country and why.
Tony Juniper, executive director for advocacy and campaigns at WWF, said the new tool could spur further use of renewables and efficient power use, which would in turn help tackle climate change and avoid loss of species.
“It will allow consumers to charge devices and power up appliances when there is a lot of green power in the grid, further diminishing the use of fossil sources and thereby reducing our collective impact on the natural world,” he said.