Wind turbines on hill with glowlines

Britain's Electricity Explained: 2023 Review

We’re moving closer to our ambition of periods of zero-carbon operations by 2025 and hit some significant milestones on our journey last year. Take a look back at how electricity was generated and used across 2023, and some of the notable events through the year.

How we generated electricity in Great Britain in 2023

We broke several records in 2023 as various factors aligned to deliver new wind and solar generation, carbon intensity, and zero-carbon generation records.

Notable records include:

  • The first time wind generation provided over 21GW of electricity
  • Maximum zero carbon record 87.6% on 4 January
  • Highest ever solar power at 10.971GW on 20 April
  • Minimum carbon intensity at 27 gCO2/kWh

2023’s Electricity Generation Mix

Electricity Explained 2023

This chart shows the total generation by source, based on Great Britain's monthly electricity stats, which we produce monthly. Follow us on X and LinkedIn to see each month’s generation figure and join the conversation.

Great Britain’s monthly electricity stats

Our growing use of zero-carbon electricity

In 2023, gas continued to play an important role in providing most of the electricity across Great Britain, but to achieve our zero-carbon ambitions we must continue to utilise more renewables to generate electricity. In 2023, we hit some vital milestones to achieving this:

  • Gas was our largest fuel source in 2023, but our use of gas was the lowest it’s been since 2015.
  • December 2023 was the 15th month in a row where zero-carbon generation produced more than fossil fuel generation, showcasing our growing use of zero-carbon electricity.
  • We’ve reduced coal’s involvement in our generation mix by over 97% since 2013. Coal was responsible for just 1% of generation in 2023. In 2018, coal represented 5.1% of electricity produced, and 39.6% in 2013 - illustrating the significant reduction that is taking place.

Electricity from wind turbines has continued to grow in its contribution to the operation of the national network and accounted for 29.4% of electricity generation. On 10 January we broke the first wind record of the year, with wind generating over 21.6GW, and on 21 December we achieved a new maximum wind record of 21.8GW between 8 – 8:30am. 

The highest share of wind in the generation mix was on 19 November between 4:30 — 5am, at 69%.

Across 2023, zero-carbon electricity sources played a vital role in the generation mix, with over 50% of electricity coming from these sources in January, July, and October. Use of fossil fuels continues to decline, with a new low fossil record of 1503MW of electricity being generated on 28 December at 2pm. 

In addition to new wind records, on 20 April we achieved the highest ever solar generation record at 10.971GW. 

Overall, zero carbon sources outperformed traditional fossil fuel generation in 2023 by providing 51% of the electricity used this year, compared to 32% from gas and 1% from coal stations.

Electricity Explained 2023


Managing electricity demand across the year

Finally, electricity demand has also fluctuated this year, showing the variation in electricity needs across the year, with electricity demand remaining at its lowest during the summer months, as longer, brighter days reduce the need to light or heat our homes.

Electricity Explained 2023


Want to see our generation mix in real time?

If you’re interested in keeping an eye on our generation mix, view our dashboard here and our historic records of the energy mix here.

You can also download our free Carbon Intensity App from the Google Play Store or the App Store to see real time information on how GB’s electricity is being produced.

Download our carbon intensity app