UK Electricity Statistics – Q3
By Paul Homewood
Year on Year comparisons
- Electricity consumption down 0.8%, mainly due to reduced industrial usage, down 1.1%.
- Imports up 73%.
- Coal generation up by 50%, and currently accounts for 34% of all generation.
- Gas down 41%, due to high gas prices. It was gas’s lowest share of generation
for the third quarter in at least 14 years.
- Nuclear up 14%, largely because of outages last year.
- Despite increased capacity, wind only accounts for 5% of total generation.
Figure 3 shows the switch from gas to coal in the last couple of years. Many of the UK’s coal burning power stations will be forced to shut in the next two years, due to EU rules, even though, technically, they have plenty of life left in them, with, of course, all the nuclear capacity soon after. To all intents and purposes, this capacity can only be released by gas. If gas prices remain high, watch out for massively increased energy bills.
Despite an increase from last year, the contribution from wind is still negligible, and is actually less in Q3 than in either the first quarter this year, or the final quarter last year, highlighting its variable and unreliable nature.
Meanwhile, fossil fuels/nuclear account for 87% of total generation.
Remember as well that, if the government is to meet its decarbonisation targets in the domestic and transport sectors, electric generating capacity will need to double by 2050 in order to offset gas for domestic heating and fuel for cars. (This forecast is based on DECC’s own figures here.)
While Dopey Davey and his pals live out their little green fantasies, the UK’s energy crisis gets rapidly ever nearer.
All electricity statistics from DECC