Nuclear's share of UK's power production dips to 19%

26 March 2015

Nuclear's share of UK electricity generation decreased last year by 0.6 percentage points on 2013 to 19.0% - or 63.8 TWh - owing to outages in the second half of the year, new data released today by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) showed.

The government department published two reports today, titled Energy Trends and Energy Prices, which cover new data for the fourth quarter of 2014 and thus provisional annual data for 2014. Energy Trends covers statistics on energy production and consumption, in total and by fuel, and provides an analysis of the year on year changes. Energy Prices covers prices to domestic and industrial consumers, prices of oil products and comparisons of international fuel prices.

Overall electricity generated in 2014 fell by 6.7%, from 359.2 TWh in 2013 to 335 TWh with a "large fall in generation from coal", DECC said.

Of electricity generated in 2014, gas accounted for 30.2% - an increase of 3.6 percentage points on 2013 – on lower wholesale gas prices between June and August and to help meet the shortfall in generation caused by nuclear outages in the second half of the year. Coal accounted for 29.1% - a fall of 7.4 percentage points on 2013 - on plant closures and conversions.

Renewable sources of electricity jumped 20% to 64.4 TWh, with a record share of 19.2% of total generation. Offshore wind generation rose by 16.1% and onshore wind by 7.9%; hydro generation was up 26.2% and generation from bioenergy rose 24%. Total renewable capacity stood at 24.2 GWe at the end of 2014, a 23% increase on the previous year.

Total energy production was 1.5% lower than in 2013. This rate of decrease though, was the lowest for 12 years, and was due to falls in nuclear output, and lower production of both coal and oil. Gas output increased for the first time since 2000. There was also continued growth from renewables. Total primary energy consumption for energy use fell by 6.4% from 2013. When adjusted to take account of weather differences between 2013 and 2014, primary consumption fell by 2.4%. Final energy consumption was 5.6% lower than in 2013, with falls in the domestic, services and industrial sectors but with a rise in the transport sector. Domestic consumption fell by 14.0%, with average temperatures in 2014 at record levels. On a seasonally and temperature adjusted basis final energy consumption was 1.2% lower than in 2013.

Energy imports in 2014 were 8.1% lower than in 2013, with exports down 7.8% to their lowest level since 1980. This meant net import dependency fell to 46%.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News