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UK Electricity Statistics – Q3

December 28, 2012

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 1


Figure 2


Figure 3

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

  1. cogdissonancedagain permalink
    December 28, 2012 10:35 pm

    I really don’t see the point of all this.
    Causal, correlation or coincidence, things are trending for the better cos when imports go up clearly economic activity, (which we all know is code for greedy capitalists and other trash exploiting local workers, beggaring poor starving africans and generating extremes of climate ) is obviously being diminished
    Mission accomplished

    • tckev permalink
      December 28, 2012 10:50 pm

      Than god for greedy capitalist?
      You are using a method of communications that greedy capitalists exploited to make money from you.

      • cogdissonancedagain permalink
        December 28, 2012 11:00 pm

        Oh, the ironing; and prob’ly coal powered too

      • tckev permalink
        December 28, 2012 11:07 pm

        You sound lost in the early 20th century along with Karl Marx.

  2. tckev permalink
    December 28, 2012 10:47 pm

    Very interesting piece.
    The whole idea of wind farms being part of the solution is a myth, they are (IMO) part of the problem – our reserve generation capability has had to be increased since the bird-killers were brought on line. More coal generation and more nuclear just to cover the randomly fluctuating output from these eye-sores.
    A useful site, that updates every few minutes, of UK generation use is at –

  3. December 29, 2012 2:13 pm

    Wind at 5% is nonsense. I check the site tckev quotes regularly, and it is rare that wind even reaches 4%.

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