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UK Energy Trends 2019

April 30, 2020

By Paul Homewood


The provisional energy data is now out for last year:



The main news is that wind, solar and hydro combined still only account for a pitiful 4% of total energy consumption, despite the tens of billions of subsidies thrown at them:



  1. manicbeancounter permalink
    April 30, 2020 4:39 pm

    For those wanting to push further with renewables need to apply the law of diminishing returns.

  2. John W.H.Scarffe permalink
    April 30, 2020 4:48 pm

    Hi Paul, What is the total subsidy for wind and solar in the same period (2019)

  3. MrGrimNasty permalink
    April 30, 2020 5:44 pm

    Having created the cleansed air narrative, now the moves begin to change behaviour, ‘you must not undo the good’, ‘we must not go back to our evil ways’ (predictable controlling justification).

    You can see weekly pollution data from all over Europe here.

    A lot of work has gone into this, it did not spring up overnight – curious!

    Anyway, the data for Paris NO2 looks very convincing, never been so low. But hang on, the lockdown started on the 14th March in Paris. The first full week under lockdown begins the 16th March. So the baseline ‘normal’ is really the week starting 9th March (first 2 days of lockdown were weekend anyway).

    Baseline NO2 is therefore 38.0, same as 3 weeks in Feb. so not unreasonable. First full week of lockdown shows no change, of the five subsequent weeks including the latest – 2 are the same level, and 3 weeks show about a 35% drop – exceptionally low values for Paris, but it was unusually low in the period up to the lockdown too. Far from conclusive, more likely weather – winds unusually persistent in the N sector (clean UK air?).

    Paris NO2 for weeks starting 9th Mar – 20th Apr for ‘traffic’ stations.

    38.0 37.4 23.0 23.6 39.1 25.7 36.1

    Paris NO2 for weeks starting 9th Mar – 20th Apr for ‘all’ stations.

    27.4 32.1 19.3 19.1 29.3 19.2 27.1

    As for PM10, they appear conclusively worse after lockdown for ‘all’ stations, and certainly no obvious improvement for ‘traffic’ stations (no PM2.5 data apparently).

    • jack broughton permalink
      April 30, 2020 6:01 pm

      I think, Mr GN that you are demonstrating that the “pollutants” are little dependent upon lifestyle and are mainly natural. So, dust is continually produced by winds, erosion and sea salt while NOx is produced from ozone that is produced by the sun. We do not have any means of finding the natural background levels, but it seems that we are close to them.

      If this is so, then the demonising of diesels and tightening of vehicle NOx emissions will make little difference: the big reductions have already happened, diminishing returns will dominate now.

      • Broadlands permalink
        April 30, 2020 7:52 pm

        And the “pollutant”, oxidized carbon, is increasing even as its emissions from transportation are rapidly lowering. That trend will increase, and has already done so…

        Monthly Average Mauna Loa CO2
        March 2020: 414.50 ppm
        March 2019: 411.97 ppm
        Last updated: April 6, 2020

  4. April 30, 2020 11:48 pm

    Tip for Next Thursday : BBCRadio 4
    Lithium: Argentina’s ‘White Gold’ Rush
    Are lithium-powered electric vehicles as ‘green’ as we think they are?

  5. May 1, 2020 3:23 am

    Bill Gates the capitalist and Jeff Gibbs the anti capitalism environmentalist actually agree on one thing and that is that renewable energy is impractical and as implemented so far, it is a sham and a scam and a burden on the economy and on society.

  6. markl permalink
    May 1, 2020 4:01 am

    80% of UK’s energy is from fossil fuels and they want to reduce it to zero by (pick your year) when renewables aren’t even replacing the growth in usage? They can’t even keep up with the moving target much less overcome it. Nuclear is their answer and get off the CO2 bandwagon is my answer.

  7. MrGrimNasty permalink
    May 1, 2020 10:02 am

    I’m not endorsing this site but it has some interesting info.

    According to the internet, a clear cut pine plantation yields about 100T/Acre after 35yrs.

    If we assume Drax supplied 8% of UK electricity for 14.1 millionT of fresh wood…….

    What area would need to be pine plantation for 100% continuously supplied?

    176.25 millionT on a 35yr rotation – I make that nearly 62 million acres.

    Slightly larger than the UK itself!

    Yes hard wood is probably more calorific, but slower growing, natural forest different yields….. various assumptions made – but even so. If powering an area of land requires using that entire area of land exclusively, it’s clearly nuts, can’t be ‘sustainable’ at all?

    • Mad Mike permalink
      May 1, 2020 12:09 pm

      If I’ve done my sums correctly, 8% equates to needing 4.935 million acres. The size of Wales is 5.101 million acres to give scale. Of course we wouldn’t devote most Wales to growing all that biomass so it means imports as now. Imports mean ships and lorries. Ships and lorries mean CO2 emissions. Hmmmmmm!

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        May 1, 2020 1:27 pm

        Yes. Nice visualization. To keep Drax fed (at 2019 capacity) we’d currently need a monoculture pine plantation the size of Wales. Holy cow.

      • Stuart Brown permalink
        May 1, 2020 2:12 pm

        Thank you Mr GN and MM for calculating something I started on yesterday but couldn’t be bothered to finish 🙂

        Fortunately, they have a lot of space in Lousiana, apparently, and can lose a Wales or two. 52,000 sq mls or 33 million acres if you prefer. And a population only 50% more than Wales!

        And here it comes:

        They must be worrying that this all seems to be getting more attention. Perhaps they could stop buying trees, bury a Rolls Royce SMR or 6 in the coal mine under the power station and just keep schtum…

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        May 1, 2020 2:27 pm

        Stuart, that anyone could shamelessly publicize that as good news or suggest that it is in any realistically practical way sustainable? Just greed, pure and simple, and UK electricity bill payers are being forced to make them rich through the destruction of the environment. Sickening.

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