This site shows realtime uk electricity demand and how it is supplied from different sources of electricity generation. The data is updated every 5 minutes from bmreports.com. Click on the key items on the right to show or hide different sources of generation and use the navigation buttons to explore historic data.
The source code for this site, including a small and fast timeseries database is all open source and available on github here.
Carbon Intensity and Demand Shifting
The white line in the above graph shows the real-time carbon intensity of the UK electricity grid. Shifting demand from times of high carbon intensity to times of low carbon intensity while renewable supply is less than overall demand may not reduce overall carbon emissions as it will be shifting gas & coal demand from one time to another. It can however help reduce the strain on the grid and reduce the maximum capacity of dispatchable generation required.
Zero Carbon Energy Model
The above shows realtime electricity supply and demand in the uk today but what might a zero carbon energy system look like? We have created an hourly energy modeling tool based on the ZeroCarbonBritain model from the Centre for Alternative Technology to explore this here http://openenergymonitor.org/energymodel.