UK uses more coal than natural gas

UK coal

The United Kingdom continues to use more coal-fired power than natural gas, the Department of Energy and Climate Change recently reported. Coal-fired power increased by about 50 percent in the third quarter of 2012 to reach 28.66 terawatt-hours, while gas-fired generation fell 41 percent to 22.83 TWh.

High natural gas prices deterred gas burning in the United Kingdom, Platts reported. The DECC also said gas burning fell to its lowest third-quarter share in 14 years.

Renewable energy sources, however, are rising in the United Kingdom. The DECC said renewables generation in the third quarter of 2012 rose by more than 25 percent, mainly due to wind energy installations. Offshore wind production in the third quarter was 54 percent higher than seen during the three-month period in 2011. Onshore wind farms produced 2.56 TWh in Q3, an increase of 38.2 percent compared to last year, Platts reported.

Biomass-fired production also increased 25 percent during the final months of 2012 compared to last year. The nation's biggest coal-fired power plant also recently announced it would convert to burning biomass instead of coal. Bloomberg reported the plant operators plan to spend $1 billion to convert to burning wood pellets in three to four years.

PennEnergy's research area offers details on the use of biomass in the U.K.

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