DECC Quarterly Energy Stats Generations Pie Charts
Source: DECC quarterly energy statistics.Renewables fall

Despite renewables’ overall share of generation increasing, the
total amount of electricity generated by wind and solar farms
actually fell by about 10 per cent in the second quarter of 2014,
compared to the same period last year, as the chart below
shows.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 At 11.52.36

The UK’s demand for electricity is falling
and generation is becoming less carbon intensive, new government
statistics show.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC)

quarterly energy statistics
show gas partially replaced coal
power between May and July this year. Low carbon energy sources
such as wind, solar and nuclear generated almost five per cent more
electricity than in the same three months last year, the data
shows.

Coal returns to historic low

The share of electricity generated by coal-fired power stations
fell to 28.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2014, compared to
34.5 per cent in the same quarter last year. This matches the
historic low coal-fired electricity generation reached in
2009-10.

Since then, falling
coal prices
and impending plant closures due to EU legislation
had seen a surge in coal use. The latest data suggests this was a
temporary blip, as we
predicted
earlier this year.

There have been some media
reports
that David Cameron wants coal to be
phased out entirely, but a well-placed source tells Carbon Brief
there is no new policy to close plants down.

Instead, there is a government
expectation
that existing EU rules on air
pollution and other factors will see all unabated UK coal plants
close by 2030. DECC has
previously
called this a
phase-out.

So what did we turn to instead of coal? Gas, nuclear and
renewables all claimed a larger share of the generation.

 

 

Source: DECC quarterly energy statistics.

Renewables fall

Despite renewables’ overall share of generation increasing, the
total amount of electricity generated by wind and solar farms
actually fell by about 10 per cent in the second quarter of 2014,
compared to the same period last year, as the chart below
shows.

Source: DECC quarterly energy statistics. Graph by Carbon
Brief.

As the UK ramps up its wind, solar, and hydro capacity, more
renewable power is available to the grid. But renewables need the
right weather conditions to work.

Wind power provided almost 20 per cent less electricity from May
to July this year, compared to the same three months a year ago.
That’s because wind speeds were much slower than this time last
year, DECC says.

Solar power compensated for this shortfall, to an extent. Solar
generation increased by 67 per cent compared to the same period
last year, as more solar farms are now connected to the grid.

Hydro generation also increased by 16 per cent due to much
heavier rainfalls, mainly during May, in the regions where the UK’s
hydropower plants are.

Demand keeps falling

The main reason renewables’ share increased despite the amount
of electricity they generated falling was a drop in overall demand.
Electricity generation fell to its lowest level since 1998, falling
6.2 per cent compared to same three months in 2013.

Demand has
defied expectations
and a rising UK population to
fall continually
since the mid-2000s. This is down to a
combination of energy efficiency measures and high electricity
prices.

Despite the increase in low-carbon share, there is a
long way to go
before the UK is decarbonised. As these figures
remind us, more than half of the UK’s electricity still comes from
fossil fuels.

Update, 25/09. 12.30: The graphs were updated to fit with
out house style.

Via: http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2014/09/uk-coal-power-back-to-historic-lows-as-electricity-demand-continues-to-fall/