Renewable energy appears to be gaining momentum in the UK as new figures showed wind generation rose 33% last year whilst gas production fell.
According to DECC’s new ‘UK Energy Statistics’ for 2012, low carbon generation accounted for 29.6% of supply, up from 26.7% in 2011. The share of wind generation grew from 4% in 2011 to 5.5% last year and bioenergy went up by 46%. Nuclear energy also saw a 2.1% rise but hydropower saw a 9% drop.
However, gas production in the UK fell by 14.1% in 2012, which DECC said was due to both planned and unplanned “maintenance activity”. Gas demand is also believed to have been at its lowest level since 1995 due to a decrease in demand from generators. Crude oil production also fell by 14.3%, however, the UK remained a net exporter of petroleum products, with exports of 1.6 million tonnes.
But the UK saw a dramatic increase in the amount of electricity generated using coal as it accounted for 42.8% of energy last year compared to 30% in 2011.
Primary energy usage increased by 2% and with a fall in temperatures last year compared to 2011, demand for energy for heating rose. Switch in electricity generation from gas to coal also resulted in an increased demand for primary energy, however, final energy usage is estimated to have fallen by around 1.5%.
Earlier this month ELN reported the UK generated a record of more than 5GW of energy from wind power.