Digest Of UK Energy Statistics 2018 Released

Electricity generation UK

Image: BEIS

Electricity generated from renewable sources in the UK reached a record high in 2017 according to the recently released Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2018.

29.3 per cent of total UK electricity generation came from renewables, 4.8 percentage points up on 2016. This was due to a 13.6 per cent rise in renewable generation capacity to 40.6 GW and the UK benefiting from higher than average wind speeds.

Generation from wind and solar sources increased to 61.5 TWh in 2017, from 47.7 TWh in 2016 (+29.1 per cent). All told, renewable energy sources generated 99.3 TWh (99,300 GWh).

Renewable energy - UK electricity generation

Image: BEIS

In terms of renewables’ share in total UK energy consumption, that reached 10.2 per cent in 2017, up from 9.2 per cent in 2016.

Home Solar Electricity Self-Consumption Climbs

Consumption of self-produced electricity by in the residential sector, primarily generated by home solar power systems, continued to rise in 2017, reaching 1,420 GWh – an increase of 4.7 per cent on 2016. Just seven years prior, this figure was only 23 GWh.

Self consumption of solar electricity could spike next year as the UK government recently announced its intention to fully close feed-in tariff schemes on March 31, 2019.

Coal Continues To Lose Friends

Coal-fired power generation continued to plummet in 2017, dropping from a 22 per cent share in 2015 to 9 per cent in 2016, then to less than 7 per cent last year. Coal production in the UK also took another major hit, down to a record low of 3 million tonnes in 2017 compared to 2016 (- 27 per cent). Major power producers constitute 61 per cent of total coal demand in the UK.

Gas Lost Ground, Nuclear Steady

Gas-fired electricity generation’s share also dropped during the period, from 42 per cent in 2016 to a 40 per cent in 2017, while nuclear power’s share was steady at 21 per cent.

Electricity Emissions Drop

Coal’s exit from the UK’s electricity generation scene and the increase of renewables and low carbon sources is continuing to whittle away at electricity sector emissions. Provisional BEIS estimates indicate overall emissions fell by 12 million tonnes of carbon dioxide¬† (3.2 per cent) to 366.9 MtCO2 between 2016 and 2017.

The Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics 2018 provides a comprehensive account of energy supply and demand in the UK. The full report can be viewed here and the statistical press release here.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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