Grid Carbon Factors

Carbon Emissions Intensity

BEIS – 2018

On 2 January 2018 BEIS published its Updated Energy and Emissions Projections 2017.

The Grid Carbon Factor is measured in grams of CO2 equivalent emitted for each kWhr of electricity generated on the National Grid: grams CO2e/kWhr.

The Grid Carbon Factor not only shows a steady decline through to 2035, but BEIS also confirms the dramatic fall in carbon emissions from UK grid electricity between 2014 and 2017.

This reflects increased electricity generation from renewables and the switch away from burning coal in power stations.

Electrification of Heat

Decarbonisation of the grid allows electrification of heat. The most efficient way to use electricity for heating is to employ heat pumps to arrange efficient heat transfer to buildings from the ground.

The same heat pumps can be used to transfer heat out of buildings down to the ground in summer, which not only provides economical cooling but also stores heat in the ground for use the following winter: heat recycling is the ultimate in energy saving.

Efficient low carbon heating

It is now possible to chose a very efficient heating system for providing renewable heating, and renewable cooling, with no carbon emissions on site – and rapidly decreasing carbon emissions from the grid.

Grid Carbon Intensity

Grid Carbon Intensity also follows a daily cycle with the Grid Carbon Intensity falling steeply around 11 pm each night and remaining low until around 6 am each morning. This provides a major Demand Side Response opportunity for those using electric heating systems to raise the core temperature of buildings in the wee small hours because the lower carbon intensity is achieved when electricity demand is lowest and the Grid can agree lower prices when demand is low.

To take advantage you need to employ ground source energy for heating in winter with a control system that is tuned for weather compensation and Demand Side Response. You can also take advantage if you employ heat pumps to transfer heat out of the building to the ground in summer.

Carbon Emissions Intensity

Projected Grid Carbon Factors Table

The table shows the Grid Carbon Factors projected by BEIS for the years out to 2035 and this was used to generate the graph above.

The column headed "EEP 2016" shows the Energy and Emissions Projections for Grid Carbon Factors by BEIS in 2016 (and shown as a dotted line in the graph above).

The column headed "EEP 2017" shows the Energy and Emissions Projections for Grid Carbon Factors by BEIS in 2017 and illustrates how quickly Grid Carbon Factors have fallen ahead of recent estimates by BEIS.


See Ground Source Heating       See Ground Source Cooling    See Ground Source Energy