2 August 2022

Your electricity is the last thing you want to think about during a heatwave. Most of us rely on electric fans and a freezer packed with ice pops to survive the summer heat. Where would we be without an emergency ice lolly?

Without these summer essentials, we would feel the worst consequences of rising temperatures. Most of us can’t imagine life without electricity. Gone are the days when blackouts were a normal occurrence.

Except – it almost happened during the most recent heatwave. As temperatures hit over 40 degrees, we narrowly avoided a London-wide power shortage with the help of our Belgium neighbours.

It’s another example of the urgent need to accelerate renewable energy projects. At Green Switch Capital, our land-leasing programmes strive to expand solar, wind and battery storage capacity.

Green energy is the solution that ticks all the boxes. It’s the only way we can achieve net-zero, reduce energy costs, and prepare society for rising global temperatures.

We’re deep diving into how July’s heatwave almost caused a London-wide power shortage. Looking at the lessons we can learn from this experience will showcase why green energy is more vital than ever before.

Record-Breaking Price for Electricity

The heatwave wasn’t just a bleak moment in our battle against climate change. The UK’s record temperature was broken several times before hitting 40.3 degrees in Lincolnshire. It was almost 2 degrees hotter than the previous record. The heatwave was a timely reminder of the urgent need to switch to green energy.

London narrowly managed to avoid a power shortage when temperatures topped over 40 degrees. The capital paid the highest price for electricity on record. While most Londoners did not know about the crisis, they’re likely to notice it on their energy bills.

Belgium came to the rescue with The National Grid paying almost £9,800 per megawatt hour to prevent south-east London from going dark. That’s over 5,000% higher than the usual price of energy. It’s also 5 times more than the previous record.

While we often think of summer as a time of lower energy use, the recent heatwave has once again led to calls for the government to accelerate its renewable energy plans.

How London Almost Went Dark 

July’s heatwave saw temperatures above 40 degrees throughout the city. London Fire Brigade experienced its busiest day since WW2 due to wildfires in the Greater London area. The reality of climate change is that these record temperatures will quickly become the new normal.

What can we learn from this recent heatwave? It’s that The National Grid needs renewable energy more than ever. The system is struggling with ageing infrastructure as the result of minimal investment and opposition to renewable energy developments.

Rising temperatures led to increasing demand throughout Europe, creating a bottleneck. It led to The National Grid paying a record price for electricity to keep London’s lights on. Bottlenecks aren’t uncommon but they’re an issue battery storage could easily solve.

The UK didn’t have enough energy to power us through the heatwave. It shows the consequences of our reliance on importing overseas energy. While The National Grid kept the electricity flowing, it’s another reminder of the need to switch to renewables.

Most of us expect winter to be the most expensive time for energy bills. The consequences of the recent heatwave are likely to bump sky-rocketing energy bills even higher.

The only solution? Green energy.

The UK’s Failing Energy Grid

While the UK was forced to pay an eyewatering amount for 8-hours of energy, it could have been worse. Without the imported energy, homes would have been disconnected from the grid.

Theoretically, the grid should have taken excess energy from elsewhere in the UK to feed the gap elsewhere. Scotland’s renewable energy, particularly offshore wind, is often left to make up the shortfall. Failing infrastructure in the grid meant this didn’t happen.

An exposed energy system is a nightmare scenario in the face of climate change. Transitioning the grid to renewable energy and giving it the investment that will help to future-proof it against climate change.

The struggle of the grid to keep London’s lights on poses another question. How will it cope when more households transition to electric vehicles? At-home electric charging stations are going to further increase household electrical consumption.

Renewable Energy & Climate Change

Green energy is the solution to the energy crisis we saw during the heatwave. Global temperatures are rising with this summer’s record-breaking 42 degrees likely to be broken next year. Renewable energy will solve the problem of ageing infrastructure and sky-high energy costs.

It’s a win-win. Green energy will help to reduce our carbon footprint, achieve net-zero, and reduce energy bills. Adopting renewable energy will also overhaul the failing infrastructure of the grid. Some regions haven’t seen development in almost 40 years.

Renewable energy is an integral part of the government’s net-zero planning. The Energy Security Bill is currently going through the legislative process and seeks to channel investment into renewable energy to make the UK less dependent on overseas energy. 

Keeping London’s Lights On

We’re leading the way in helping the UK hit its net-zero target by successful transitioning the grid to green energy. Renewable energy poses an opportunity for landowners throughout the country. Leasing your land to Green Switch Capital allows you to do your part in the battle against climate change.

Our programme also allows you to earn passive income and benefit from using renewable energy. Your 40-year lease offers financial security and our team will oversee the entire development process.

Transforming unused land to house solar panels, on-shore wind turbines, and battery storage will help future-proof the grid.

Green Switch Capital’s goal is to create a sustainable and self-reliant energy market in the UK. We believe renewable energy will safeguard the grid and prevent the type of power shortage we almost experienced.

Together, we can prevent power shortages by embracing net-zero and green energy. Find out more about our battery storage and renewable energy systems here.