Control room balancing the grid

Platinum Jubilee – How has electricity changed during the Queen's reign?

As the Queen marks her Platinum Jubilee, we look back at how electricity - how it is used and generated - has changed during her reign.

When Queen Elizabeth first came to the throne, Britain was still using gas lamps on the streets.

Seventy years on, most things have been electrified and we’re nearly at the point where we can operate our electricity system for short periods on 100% low carbon electricity. That’s a pretty amazing achievement!

Today, we consume six times as much electricity as we did seven decades ago, as electricity increasingly powers our lives. From phones to laptops to electric vehicles, our need for leccy has grown exponentially.

Where we get our electricity from has also changed over time as advances in new technologies have allowed Great Britain to draw on an increasingly diverse mix of technologies.

Did you know that one turn of a wind turbine can power your home for a day? And who would have thought that by 2022 half of our electricity would regularly come from low carbon energy like wind, solar and nuclear?

By 2035 we’ll have gone even further by operating a 100% zero carbon electricity network all the time.

You can keep up to date with our decarbonisation journey on our carbon intensity dashboard.