Electricity sector in the United Kingdom
The electricity sector in the United Kingdom relies mainly on fossil fuelled power and 15-20% in nuclear power. The use of electricity declined 11% in 2009 compared to 2004 and respectively the renewable energy per cent share of total electricity use increased 2.8%. The annual use of electricity declined 736 kWh per person in 2009 compared to 2004. In 2008 nuclear electricity production was 860 kWh pro person. The share of wind power was 3.2% of electricity when top countries were Denmark (24% of electricity), Spain (14.4%), Portugal (14%), Ireland (10.1%) and Germany (9.3%). The United Kingdom ended voluntarily the use of incandescent lightbulbs in 2011. The UK is planning to reform its Electricity Market. It plans to introduce a capacity mechanism and contracts for difference to encourage the building of new generation.
The European Commission banned low efficiency general-purpose, non-directional incandescent lightbulbs from 2012, though similarly shaped higher-efficiency halogen bulbs continue to be available (although halogen cannot be considered high-efficiency when compared to Compact fluorescent lamp and LED bulbs). The United Kingdom banned them voluntarily from 2011 after Ireland in 2009.
Electricity per person and by power source
|Electricity per person in the United Kingdom (kWh/ hab.) |
|Use||Production||Import||Import %||Fossil||Nuclear||Nuc. %||Other RE*||Bio+waste||Wind||Non RE use*||RE %*|
|* Other RE is waterpower, solar and geothermal electricity and windpower until 2008
* Non RE use = use – production of renewable electricity
* RE % = (production of RE / use) * 100% Note: EU calculates the share of renewable energies in gross electrical consumption.
Mode of production
The gross production of electricity was 393 TWh in 2004 which gave the 9th position in the world top producers in 2004.
Electricity was produced with gas 160 TWh in 2004 and 177 TWh in 2008. The United Kingdom was 4th top electricity producer from gas both in 2004 and in 2008. In 2005 the UK produced 3.2% of the world total natural gas having the 5th top position after Russia (21.8%), United States (18%), Canada (6.5%) and Algeria (3.2%). In 2009 the UK’s own gas production was less and natural gas was also imported.
The installed nuclear power capacity in the United Kingdom was 11 GW in 2008. The production of nuclear power was 80 TWh in 2004 (2.9% of world total)  and 63 TWh in 2007 (2.3% of world total)  The production of nuclear electricity was lower in 2006 and 2008 than the actual capacity. The electricity consumption declined in 2009 compared to 2004 by 736 kWh/person when the nuclear energy was produced at nearly same volume 860 kWh/person in 2008. Further, Denmark produced more wind power pro person (1,218 kWh/person) than the United Kingdom produced annually nuclear power pro person in 2006-2009 (860-1,120 kWh/person).
Installed wind power in the UK was 5,204 MW at the end of 2010 and 4,245 MW at the end of 2009. The share of wind power was 3.2% of electricity when top countries were Denmark (24%), Spain (14.4%), Portugal (14%), Ireland (10.1%) and Germany (9.3%). The wind power share of the EU electricity need was in the end of 2010 5.3%.
The export of electricity was 1-3% of consumption between 2004-2009. According to IEA the UK was top electricity importer 6th importing 11 TWh after (TWh): Brazil 42, Italy 40, United States 33, Netherlands 16 and Finland 14.
The UK grid is connected to the Dutch electricity grid with the submarine power cable BritNed.
See also HVDC Cross-Channel
- Energy in Sweden, Facts and figures, The Swedish Energy Agency, (in Swedish: Energiläget i siffror), Table: Specific electricity production per inhabitant with breakdown by power source (kWh/person), Source: IEA/OECD 2006 T23, 2007 T25, 2008 T26, 2009 T25 and 2010 T49.
- IEA Key energy statistics 2006
- IEA Key energy statistics 2010 pages electricity 27 gas 13,25 fossil 25 nuclear 17
- Andreas Walstad (2 August 2011). "UK power plants mothballed on higher gas prices". National Gas Daily (Interfax). Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- "Centrica idles gas-fired plant amid low spark spreads". Argus Media. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- pdf IEA Key energy statistics 2009
- Wind in power 2010 European statistics EWEA February 2011