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UK energy statistics, 2019 and Q4 2019

Published: 26 March 2020 - Carly Wills

Energy Trends and Energy Prices publications have been published today by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The publications cover new data for the fourth quarter of 2019 (October to December) and thus provisional annual data for 2019. 

Energy Trends covers statistics on energy production and consumption, in total and by fuel, and provides an analysis of the year on year changes. 

The key points from 2019 are: 

  • Total energy production was 0.5 per cent lower than in 2018. This fall, the first since 2014, follows four consecutive annual rises, was due to rises in output from oil, bioenergy and waste, wind, solar and hydro being offset by falls from coal, gas and nuclear. The output from bioenergy and waste and wind, solar and hydro is now nearly 15 times higher than coal, notable as coal output was greater as recently as 2012. 
  • Total primary energy consumption for energy uses was 1.9 per cent lower than in 2018. However, when adjusted to take account of weather differences between 2018 and 2019, primary consumption fell by 1.3 per cent. 
  • Final energy consumption (excluding non-energy use) was 1.1 per cent lower than in 2018. On a seasonally and temperature adjusted basis it is estimated to have fallen by 0.8 per cent with falls in the domestic, industrial and transport sectors but a rise in the services sector. 
  • Of electricity generated in 2019, gas accounted for 40.9 per cent whilst coal accounted for only 2.1 per cent. Renewables’ share of electricity generation increased to 36.9 per cent in 2019 - a record high - with 119TWh electricity generated from renewable sources, as a result of increased capacity. Nuclear generation’s share declined compared to 2018, due to reactor outages and required maintenance. 
  • Renewable electricity capacity was 47.4GW at the end of 2019, a 6.9 per cent increase (3GW) on a year earlier. 
  • Low carbon electricity’s share of generation increased from 52.6 per cent in 2018 to a record high of 54.2 per cent in 2019, driven by growth in renewable generation due to increased capacity. 

Other highlights from 2019 include: 

  • Imports in 2019 were 2.1 per cent lower than in 2018, whilst exports fell by 0.3 per cent. As a result, net import dependency fell back from 36 per cent to 35.2 per cent. 
  • Demand for oil fell for the second consecutive year as a result of depressed demand for transport fuels, notably diesel. 
  • Supply of gas to the UK saw a shift in 2019 as pipeline flows fell to 60 per cent of total imports as volumes of Liquefied Natural Gas more than doubled. Exports remained low and 2019 was only the fourth year in the series that the UK exported less than 100TWh. 
  • Coal production was 16 per cent lower than in 2018, and at a record low level, due to further contraction of surface mining and lower demand for electricity generation. Imports of coal in 2019 were 33 per cent lower compared to 2018. Coal stocks were broadly similar to last year. 
  • Gas demand in 2019 was stable on the year before at 876TWh, with a small increase in gas use for electricity generation offset by a small decrease in final consumption. 
  • Total electricity generated in 2019 was 323.7TWh, a decrease of 2.8 per cent compared to 2018 (332.9TWh). More than a third (36.9 per cent) of UK generation came from renewable sources in 2019, driven by high generation from wind, solar and bioenergy sources, while coal generation decreased substantially, pushing fossil fuels to an all-time low share of the generation mix at 43.4 per cent. 


 
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