Gas expands to grab lion’s share of UK electricity generation, while wind power fell by 7% in 2016

The UK Energy Statistics for 2016 have been published by the Dept for Business, Energy and Industry (BEIS) and highlights show that:

  • The amount of electricity generated by gas rose by 13% to 42.4%
  • There was a slight fall of 1% in electricity generated by renewables, but wind-power fell by 7%
  • Average annual household energy bills fell by just over £1 per week (4.7%)

Total energy production was 1.2 per cent higher than in 2015. This increase, which follows an increase of 9.6 per cent between 2014 and 2015, was due to rises in output from oil, gas, bioenergy and nuclear. Coal output fell to a record low level, whilst output from wind, solar and natural flow hydro also fell.

Total primary energy consumption for energy uses was 1.5 per cent lower than in 2015. However, when adjusted to take account of weather differences between 2015 and 2016, primary consumption fell by 2.5 per cent.

Final energy consumption (excluding non-energy use) was 1.1 per cent higher than in 2015, with rises in the domestic, transport and services sectors but with a fall in the industrial sector. On a seasonally and temperature adjusted basis it is estimated to have risen by 0.6 per cent.

Of electricity generated in 2016, gas accounted for 42.4 per cent (an increase of 13 percentage points on 2015) and coal accounted for 9.1 per cent (a decrease of 13 percentage points on 2015). Nuclear’s share of generation increased by 0.4 percentage points on 2015, to 21.2 per cent.

Renewable electricity generation was 82.8 TWh in 2016, a decrease of 1.0 per cent on the 83.6 TWh in 2015, with bioenergy up by 0.7 per cent and wind generation down by 7.0 per cent. Renewables’ share of electricity generation decreased to 24.4 percent in 2016, a fall of 0.2 percentage points on 2015. Renewable electricity capacity was 34.7 GW at the end of 2016, a 13.7 per cent increase (4.2 GW) on a year earlier.

Average annual household energy bills (based on fixed consumption of 3,800 kWh per annum for electricity and 15,000 kWh per annum for gas) across all payment types in 2016 decreased by £61 (down 4.7 per cent to £1,236) compared to 2015. Average electricity bills were £2 higher, with gas bills down £63.

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