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Fossil Fuels To Remain Dominant– UK Energy Projections

January 12, 2018

By Paul Homewood



A few more thoughts on the latest Energy & Emissions Projections.




Final energy consumption is going to change very little in the next couple of decades:



According to BEIS:

Final energy demand is projected to be 134 Mtoe in 2025, 3% lower than in 2016. It is then projected to increase again after 2025, as the effects of included policies diminish and macroeconomic drivers continue to increase demand. Projected final energy demand is projected to increase by 2% in 2035 compared to 2016.


It is particularly significant that electricity/biofuels are expected to make very little inroad into transport.

Over the 2017 to 2035 period, the share of electricity in the transport mix rises only very slightly from 0.8% to 3.2%.

It certainly does not sound as if the government is very confident about the uptake of EVs.


In terms of primary energy, perhaps the most significant projection is that oil/gas will only fall slightly, from 149 Mtoe to 129 Mtoe between now and 2035.

Even at the end of the period, fossil fuels will still be supplying 68.9% of the UK’s energy.

It seems the demise of Big Oil has been put on hold!



Renewable energy’s share rise from 10.4% to 15.0%, and nuclear’s from 7.3% to 14.5%.


You may have noticed that the BEIS has used different scales on the Y-axis above, which gives a misleading impression.

Below shows what the energy mix will look like in 2035, something BEIS apparently don’t want you to see:




Despite subsidies running into hundreds of billions, renewable energy will still only be supplying 15% of the total by 2035.

It makes you wonder just what we will have got for all that money.

  1. A C Osborn permalink
    January 12, 2018 4:13 pm

    “It makes you wonder just what we will have got for all that money.”

    A lot of much richer people, but unfortunately not the current poor taxpayers and OAPs.

  2. Ben Vorlich permalink
    January 12, 2018 4:14 pm

    I have a feeling that manufacturing is roughly 20% of GDP and is about 30% of energy consumption, I could have got this wrong. If this is the case any significant expansion of manufacturing post Brexit will cause an increase in energy demand significantly greater that a similar increase in the service and financial sectors. As manufactured items have to be transported then energy used in haulage/logistics will also increase more than anticipated.

    I’ve always maintained that for a country to do well in the modern world it needs a decent manufacturing base, 20% of GDP is way too low. I’ve always found UK politicians, and in particular Prime Ministers, have for more forty years at best ignored and at worst helped* destroy manufacturing in the UK.

    Management and Unions also had major roles.

    • dave permalink
      January 12, 2018 4:35 pm

      “…different scales…”

      Always up there, in any list of puerile ways to “Lie with Charts.”

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 13, 2018 12:17 pm

      Brexit will bring a decrease in manufacturing as it is currently being incompetently executed by May and Davis, and we can see no reason for it to turn out positive. Leaving the Single Market is the crucial mistake that will cause problems for car manufacturers, aerospace, pharmaceuticals and petro-chemicals. In time these industries will drift away from the UK.

    • Derek Buxton permalink
      January 14, 2018 9:54 pm

      Very true, but then, how many of our MPs know the first thing about industry?

  3. Teneb permalink
    January 12, 2018 4:15 pm

    Amazing! Looks like someone in the Ministry actually understands the facts unlike the posturing peewits of the Great Green Blob!

  4. SteveB permalink
    January 12, 2018 5:21 pm

    So when councils start rolling all those new, government funded, vehicle charging points, cars will still be fossil fuel powered. Oh, wait. What new charging points?

  5. TinyCO2 permalink
    January 12, 2018 5:25 pm

    The first serious offshore wind in the UK, Blyth, was installed in 2000. So in another 2 years it’s 20. They’re only supposed to last 20-30 years (maybe 35 years but older versions always got scrapped/replaced before that. Another 3 years after that Hoyle reaches 20 and after that, a farm or multiple farms reach that every year. When multiple turbines stop working/produce significantly less electricity, it’s going to get interesting.

  6. Dave Ward permalink
    January 12, 2018 7:05 pm

    “17% from Renewables, waste and solids” – sounds like a load of old c*** to me…

  7. jim permalink
    January 12, 2018 7:17 pm

    So fossil fuels are only to decline in generating electricity where they are fundamental for dispatchable and network support services. Lights out in 7 years or earlier.

  8. Jack Broughton permalink
    January 12, 2018 8:22 pm

    I wonder if the renewables increase allows for the planned conversion of the remaining coal fired boilers at Drax to the non-CO2 emitting wood from the USA. If this is so, that is looking like a major problem for them as the conversion is not looking likely due to subsidy cuts.

    • Malcolm Bell permalink
      January 13, 2018 7:46 am

      Did I read somewhere in the last couple of weeks that Drax is going to convert to gas?

      • Stuart Brown permalink
        January 13, 2018 9:25 am

        Malcolm, this?

        Abergelli Power is owned by Drax.

        Looks like a new OCGT plant, so not hugely efficient & not especially big either (300MW). Still, better than a bunch of diesel generators for fast response.

      • Jack Broughton permalink
        January 13, 2018 10:39 am

        I believe that they are considering converting the remaining coal fired boilers to gas to get access to another of the energy-scams. They are also still trying to get subsidies for the wood conversion of these boilers.

        The tragedy is that these are the lowest cost, and among the most reliable, generators in the UK if the CCA did not apply of course.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        January 13, 2018 12:22 pm

        Not really Stuart as any thermal generating plant needs time to be warmed up to avoid damaging thermal shock. Hence the use of diesels which start and deliver at the push of a button. I am never quite sure if the diesels and private generators are intended to buy time to ramp up thermal plant when the sun goes or the wind drops in the way the ludicrous batteries are, or if they are to supply capacity when required. With the rate of plant closure and nothing new being built, it looks more like the latter.

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