Coal’s share in the UK energy mix fell to 22% in 2015, according to new statistics from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS), lower than renewable generation, which rose to 25% of the mix. In 2014, coal generated 30% of the UK’s energy.
Natural gas generation led the mix with a 29% share, broadly similar with 2014’s level. Final consumption of electricity was 303 TWh, level with 2014 at its lowest point since 1995.
Renewable generation increased by 29% to 84 TWh between 2014 and 2015, according to the DBEIS figures, on the back of increased solar and wind capacity. Combined, wind and solar accounted for 48 TWh, a year-on-year increase of 33%.
Solar photovoltaic jumped by 78% in 2015 to 7.6 GWh. Capacity increased by 69% to 9.2 GW at the end of 2015, compared to 5.4 GW in 2014.
Hydro generation was also by 6.7%, while generation from bio-energy rose 30% on the back of the conversion of a third unit at Drax from coal to hi-range biomass cofiring.
Coal generation, meanwhile, fell by 25% from 100 TWh in 2014 to 76 TWh in 2015, following the closure of several power plants.
Since the beginning of 2015, 3660 MW of coal-fired generation capacity has been closed in the UK, while a 645 MW unit a Drax has been converted from coal to hi-range biomass cofiring.
Total UK generating capacity was 2.7 GW lower at the end of 2015 at 81 GW. The UK remained a net importer of electricity, with imports contributing 5.8% of electricity supply.
Edited by Jonathan Rowland.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/power/02082016/renewable-generation-overtakes-coal-in-uk-mix-2016-2132/