The latest DUKES report shows that the renewables component in the UK's power generation mix rose to 25%, a new record.
The latest Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) shows that during 2015 the country's renewables component in its power generation mix rose to 25%, a new record, and its carbon emissions fell, both helped by increased renewables production and reduced demand.
The key points of the DUKES report were:
• UK energy production was up 9.6 % in 2015 on the previous year, its first increase since 1999. The rise was driven by strong growth in UK Continental Shelf output with both oil and gas output up. There was also strong growth in renewable electricity production. However, coal output decreased to record low levels.
• Imports in 2015 were down, with exports up; as a result net imports decreased though they still accounted for 38 % of energy used.
• Primary energy consumption was up 0.4 %; but on a temperature adjusted basis primary energy consumption was down 0.8 %, continuing the downward trend of the last ten years. UK temperatures were above normal, but colder compared to the record warm weather in 2014.
• Final energy consumption rose by 1.7 % as demand for heating increased with
temperature adjusted final energy consumption broadly unchanged on 2014 levels.
• Fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy supply, but now account for 82 %, a record low level. Supply from renewables increased, with their contribution accounting for 8.3 % of final consumption on the EU agreed basis.
• In 2015, there was a further switch in the main sources of electricity generation away from the fossil fuel of coal to more low carbon generation. Generation from coal fell by 25 %, as a number of plants closed or switched to burning biomass; gas fell marginally by 0.9 %; nuclear output rose by 10 % with renewables up by 29 %. The overall renewables share of generation increased to a record 25 % share of generation.
• Provisional BEIS estimates suggest that overall emissions fell by 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (MtCO2) (4.1 %) to 404.7 MtCO2 between 2014 and 2015, driven by the changes in electricity generation.