You may have read a number of news articles recently stating that electricity generation from coal is decreasing in the UK. It’s true… in the second quarter of 2017 (shown in the graph below as 2017 Q2) just 2.0% of electricity was generated from coal, the equivalent of 1.5TWh.
Compared to the same quarter in 2016 (shown in the graph below as 2016 Q2), when 5.6% of electricity was generated from coal or the equivalent of 4.6TWh. Electricity generation from coal has therefore decreased in quarter two (Q2) this year by 66% in absolute terms.
Other notable movers compared to Q2 2016, included electricity generated from:
- Oil, a 42% decrease,
- Q2 2016 – 0.7% (0.56 TWh)
- Q2 2017 – 0.4% (0.32 TWh)
- Wind and Solar, a 26% increase,
- Q2 2016 – 17.7% (11 TWh)
- Q2 2017 – 22.6% (14 TWh)
Looking at the UK’s electricity generation as a whole, 79TWh of electricity was generated in Q2 2017 compared to 81TWh generated in Q2 2016 – only a very slight decrease in overall electricity generation. Out of the 79TWh of electricity generated in Q2 2017, 43% came from fossil fuels and other sources, 34% from renewable energy and 23% from nuclear. The graph below shows the full breakdown of how the UK’s electricity was generated in quarter two this year.
With countries throughout the world starting to deploy more and more renewable energy, there are concerns that the UK energy policy is on pause while the Government concentrates on negotiations over Brexit. However, if current trends continue, coal could soon disappear from the UK all together and renewable energies will continue to rise, including bioenergy produced by local farmers and biogas/biomass plants.