Renewable energy provided 30% of Great Britain’s power during the second quarter of the year, according to figures from analysis firm EnAppSys.

The data also revealed that July saw the lowest average electricity demand for eight years with the rise in embedded generation such as solar a key factor.

Renewables came in second behind gas-fired power stations in terms of electricity generation, which provided 38% of the country’s energy.

Nuclear plants accounted for 23%, while 7% was imported through interconnectors and 2% came from coal.

Renewable generation peaked at 42% and never fell below 13%.

Wind’s highest-ever levels

The report said: “Levels of wind generation in the quarter were particularly strong, with by far the highest-ever levels of wind generation in Great Britain in the second quarter of the year, whilst solar continued to see increased levels of generation in line with the progressive increase seen in the previous year.

“Levels of overall electricity demand were lower across the quarter, but system prices still peaked in excess of £1,500/MWh as levels of availability were low during a reduced renewable output period that had followed a long period of strong renewable output.

“Q2 2017 was the second consecutive quarter in which renewables were the second largest source of generation after gas, with Q2 2016 also having seen a similar position for renewables.”

EnAppSys analyst Katie Fenn said: “The increase in embedded generation, particularly solar, has had a noticeable effect on the daily demand curve. It’s now common to see a dip in demand in the middle of the day. Whilst this makes it difficult for large units to achieve long runs, and so reduces the spinning reserve online, this may not be such a big problem for system stability as it might appear, as fewer large units on line reduces the likelihood of a large single point of loss.”

> Download the figures