UK fossil fuel dependency falls to record low

Fossil fuel dependency in the third quarter (Q3) of 2016 was 2% lower than the same period a year before and at a record low level. That’s according to new […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Fossil fuel dependency in the third quarter (Q3) of 2016 was 2% lower than the same period a year before and at a record low level.

That’s according to new statistics from BEIS, which show dependency fell to 78.7%.

This was despite increases in the production of oil (8.1%) due to new fields and less maintenance downtime. Gas also increased (10.8%) due to the new Laggan Field.

Nuclear production rose by 13.9% due to outages last year. Wind, solar and hydropower production saw the largest increase at 16.4%, following a period of strong winds, bright sun and heavy rainfall combined with a rise in renewable capacity.

Bioenergy and waste was the only area to produce less energy in Q3 2016 than Q3 2015, falling by 3.2%.

Total energy consumption fell by 5%, led by a steep drop in coal use (59%) as it was used less in generation.

Oil and gas consumption rose slightly but the rise was much more pronounced in nuclear (14.2%) and wind, solar and hydropower (18.4%).

Bioenergy and waste generation consumption fell by 4.5%.

Imports in the third quarter of 2016 were at their lowest level since the first quarter of 2005, at 28.8%. This was 7.4% down from Q3 2015, reflecting the increases in domestic oil and gas production and the decrease in coal and gas imports.

This is the lowest level of net import dependency since the third quarter of 2010.

Renewables are forecast to be the fastest growing energy source in the next two decades, according to BP.