25% of UK electricity now low-carbon

23rd February 2012

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Renewable energy sources and nuclear plants generated a rising proportion of the UK's electricity in 2011, according to new figures from DECC

In a provisional analysis of the UK’s energy production and consumption, the energy department estimates that 25% of the electricity from the country’s major power producers was generated through low-carbon technologies, up from 20% in 2010.

High wind speeds and additional capacity resulted in an increase in offshore and onshore wind generation by 59% year-on-year, according to DECC, meaning that wind provided 4% of the UK’s total electricity supply, up from 2.4% in the previous 12 months.

Similarly, generation from hydroelectric sources leapt by an estimated 70%, thanks to increased rainfall in Scotland, upping the technology’s share of supply from 0.8% to 1.5%.

Nuclear power also increased, accounting for 20% of electricity supply, while generation from gas fell from 48% in 2010 to 41% in 2011.

The initial figures also reveal that overall energy production in the UK fell by a record 14%, due to a drop in oil and gas extraction activities in the North Sea. The UK’s dependency on imported energy is also highlighted by the analysis, with imports of gas exceeding the amount produced domestically for the first time.

However, DECC’s estimates also reveal that the demand for gas was at its lowest since 1995, with the warm winter reducing the energy needed for heating. Overall, total energy consumption dropped by 7%, following the trend of the last five years.


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