Gas prices force firms to use coal power

High gas prices in the UK led to companies opting for coal power instead this year. That’s what the figures in DECC’s new ‘UK Energy Statistics’ report suggest as gas […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

High gas prices in the UK led to companies opting for coal power instead this year.

That’s what the figures in DECC’s new ‘UK Energy Statistics’ report suggest as gas generation fell to its lowest share of the UK’s energy mix over the past 14 years. Coal however accounted for 36.1% of electricity in the second quarter of this year, the highest share for 14 years.

Electricity generated from renewables increased to 9.6% from last year but hydropower plunged by 31.3% in the second quarter of 2011 due to low rainfall. Onshore wind generation also fell by 11.4% over the same period whilst offshore wind leaped by 46.7%.

The figures come after the UK generated a record-breaking 4GW of wind power earlier this month.

The statistics also show fuel production in the UK dropped by 10.1% in the second quarter this year compared to a year earlier. Maintenance and slowdowns on a number of oil and gas fields also led to a fall in its productions by 12.2% and 13.9% respectively.

There was a 5.1% increase in total primary energy use, with a rise of 32.8% in domestic consumption compared to last year when the weather was warmer.

The report also said England had more renewable generating capacity than Scotland, around 27% higher, for the first time last year.