Ongoing shutdowns for maintenance and repair work at Britain’s nuclear power stations – owned by the nationalised French state utility EDF – resulted in a drop in both total UK energy production and the low-carbon share of that production – over the past quarter.
According to the latest UK electricity production statistics issued by the Dept of Energy (DECC), domestic UK production fell by 3.4% – with nuclear power output halving to 16.4% due to repairs.
As a result, the low-carbon share of electricity generation by major generators dropped 2.4% to 31.6%.
Coal provided 34.6% of electricity generation, with gas at 33.8%. Over the period, coal generation fell due to the closure of plants, but coal’s share was higher than gas as generators switch back to coal in response to increasing wholesale gas prices, and coal plants return to operation after summer outages.
Wind generation was down 9.0% due to lower wind speeds, although overall renewables were up 10.6% with growth in biomass.