Energy Dashboard was developed to provide real time and historical information on UK energy topics, with an emphasis on clearly accessible facts and figures. Initially the site centres on electricity generation in Great Britain (GB), but later updates will include sections on heat generation, renewable energy, carbon emissions and transport. Energy data is constantly changing and often difficult to obtain and decipher, the plan is for Energy Dashboard to become an easy-to-use resource for anyone needing informative facts and analysis on UK energy issues.
This early version of the site provides information on electricity generation and highlights the growing contribution of 'embedded' generation - smaller solar and wind energy plants which are not metered at the transmission level, instead connecting into local distribution grids. As the UK moves towards more renewable sources of generation this provides an increasingly complex problem for National Grid, who are required to balance supply and demand. The 'embedded' or 'distributed' electricity shows as a drop in demand and data on embedded generation is limited, and mostly protected under personal data regulation. National Grid therefore relies on estimated figures from sources such as Sheffield University. With embedded electricity providing up to 10GW at peak demand times, it is becoming harder to assess how much capacity is required to meet peak demands (especially in winter), and whether the underlying peak demand (at the level of final consumption) has been going up or down in recent years.
I've worked in the renewable energy for several years, helping developers set up and finance solar, wind and biomass projects under the feed-in tariff (FiT) and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) schemes. A recent career change into coding and web development led to the development of this site, combining my background and interest in energy with my expanding web development skills.
The Energy Dashboard application obtains live and historic energy information through API services. The application uses a chain of requests to query JSON and XML data from different sources, predominantly the UK National Grid (via Elexon). The website uses Chart.js to display the data and Semantic UI as the development framework, allowing a responsive / mobile-friendly layout.
Please do get in contact with any feedback or questions you have on the site, or with any web development enquiries.
Future plans for the site include incorporating a database and increasing the scope of the site to include more wide-ranging information on UK energy generation and usage. This will include sections on heating, renewable energy, carbon emissions and transport energy. Watch this space..!