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Coal leads UK power mix in winter 2013/14

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World Coal,

Coal provided the largest share of UK electricity generation in the six months to March 2014, according to a new study by EnAppSys. Coal’s share of the energy mix was 34% compared to 23% from gas, 21% from nuclear and 10% from wind and 15% from other sources including interconnector flows.

However, total electricity generation at major UK power plants dropped by 6.2% to 36.9 GW over the period – a result of a mild winter, the economic slowdown and a long-term structural decline in electricity consumption on the back of increased energy efficiency.

The study also noted that, despite providing well over half of UK power during the period, coal and gas plants actually saw levels of combined generation fall 17% on the same six months in 2012 – 13 on the back of coal-fired capacity closure and an increase in renewables supply pushing gas out of the mix.

Paul Verrill, director of EnAppSys, said: “The report shows that the UK’s electricity needs are still predominantly provided by coal and gas-fired power plants, but that renewables are playing an increasingly larger role. In the winter period, when demand in the UK is at its peak, 18% of total UK generation came from renewable sources (including estimates for levels of embedded generation), a big increase on the 11% figure the previous year.”

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