UK Electricity Stats For 2016
By Paul Homewood
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has just published the latest set of electricity statistics, which now updates to Dec 2016.
- Coal, oil and gas still continue to dominate, accounting for 52% of total generation. This is unchanged from 2015. Although coal power output has more than halved to 30TWh, this has been almost entirely offset by the rise in gas power.
- Wind output has surprisingly actually fallen by 7% from 40.3TWh to 37.5TWh. Apparently this is because it was not as windy last year! This hardly offers much reassurance for when the grid becomes increasingly reliant on wind power in years to come.
- Solar power capacity effectively stopped expanding in Q4. Whether this reflects the withdrawal of solar subsidies earlier last year or not remains to be seen.
- Total supply has pretty much flatlined in the last three years, rather upsetting the government’s energy efficiency objectives.
The large scale switch from coal to gas, due in part to lower gas prices, will enable the government to claim a drop in CO2 emissions.
However, there is nothing here to suggest that we are even beginning to tackle the long term challenges to UK energy policy which we face.