UK fossil fuel power plummeted in Q1

The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change has released statistics showing a big decrease in the amount of power being generated by coal and gas in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the previous year.

The data shows a significant decrease in the amount of coal-fired power used in Britain's generation mix compared to the year before while gas-fired power burn fell to 16 year lows.

Meanwhile renewable power gained an impressively high proportion of the energy mix when compared to 2013.
United Kingdom
Total electricity generated in Q1 2014 fell by 8.2 per cent, from 101.7 TWh a year earlier to 93.3 TWh, due to lower than average demand as a result of mild temperatures through the winter months.

Coal fired generation fell by 16.5 per cent from 41.5 TWh to 34.7 TWh while gas-fired generation fell 19.5 per cent from 27.1 TWh to 21.8 TWh, “its lowest first quarter level for at least sixteen years”, Decc said.

By contrast wind and solar PV generation rose 59 per cent year on year from 7.1 TWh to 11.3 TWh, due to increased wind speeds as well as an increase in installed capacity, growing the share of renewable within the generation mix from 12.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 to 19.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2014.

Coal saw its share of the mix fall from 40.8 per cent to 37.1 per cent, whilst gas’s share of generation fell from 26.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 to 23.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2014, Decc data showed.

However, the summer months which followed saw a reversal of the two fossil fuels places within the mix, with historically low market prices for UK gas leading to an increased use of gas-fired power at the expense of coal-fired power use.

The share of nuclear generation was relatively steady, slipping from 18.0 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 to 17.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2014 due to station outages.

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