Gas use in UK declines as coal and nuclear usage climbs
The use of gas for power generation in the UK declined by 5.7% in 2005, compared with the previous year, while coal usage increased by 3.5% and electricity production from nuclear sources increased by 2.0%, according to figures released by Britain’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Coal-fired generation increased by 3.5% year-on-year to 130.26 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2005, while nuclear generation climbed 2.0% to 75.17 TWh. Gas-fired generation declined to 145.87 TWh in 2005, compared to 2004.
A statement from the DTI said “much of the switchback [from gas to coal] is the result of the relative price of gas and coal…the 2004 growth figures were attributed to the three newest CCGT stations [in the UK] operating at high levels throughout the year, while the downturn in 2005 results from generators preferring coal when prices reached very high levels at the end of the year.”
Total indigenous UK gas production declined by 8.4% to 1,023.12 TWh in 2005, compared year-on-year. Overall, since peaking in 2000 at 1,261 TWh, natural gas production has been in decline on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), as reserves continue to deplete. Gas imports into the UK in 2005 totaled 173.33 TWh, an increase of 30.3% compared with 2004, while exports declined by 15.9% to 95.96 TWh over the same period. Net imports of gas (77.4 TWh) accounted for 7.0% of total UK demand in 2005. Gas demand for electricity generation was down by 5.7% to 318.94 TWh, while domestic consumption increased by 1% to 400.37 TWh during 2005, compared year-on-year. However, despite the fall in the contribution of gas-fired generation, it still represented the largest contributor to the UK’s fuel mix last year, at 37.8% gas.
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