UK government data shows coal down, renewables down, and need for more capacity

The UK reduced its dependency on coal power generation by around 60% between2015 and 2016, according to government data.

Electricity generated from renewable sources also declined, due to weather and outages.

Domestic electricity use fell 1% between 2015 and 2016 despite similar weather patterns, indicating an increase in efficiency.

Nina Skorupska , Chief Executive of the REA, said: “As ageing coal and nuclear sites come offline and electricity demand is set to increase, the NAO estimates that we need to deploy 81 GW of new electricity generation capacity by 2035. This extraordinary figure is close to the entirety of our existing power generation capacity.

“If the government wants to be building at the lowest cost it should be building large solar, onshore wind, and biomass, which are arguably cheaper than new gas generation yet their continued deployment has been blocked. Auctions for less developed technologies where we could gain a global competitive advantage, such as marine, waste to energy, geothermal power, and offshore wind have been repeatedly delayed.

“It is excellent to see a near 60% reduction in coal generation between 2015 and 2016, now the task is to upgrade our infrastructure so that we are internationally competitive in a global low-carbon economy. We urge all parties to commit to annual renewable energy auctions in the next parliament in order to quickly, reliably, and cheaply secure new generation capacity.”

"Interestingly, domestic power consumption fell a whole 1 per cent. It just makes sense to make better use of the electricity we do produce, so investing in new generation should complement investment in energy efficiency and flexibility options such as storage."

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