Nuclear accounts for 19% of UK electricity generation in 2012

25 July 2013

Statistics released by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change show that nuclear power was responsible for 19% of UK electricity generation in 2012, the same percentage as the year before, despite increased generation.

Coal accounted for 39% of total generation in 2012, with gas 29% and renewables just over 11%, according to the Government's annual Digest of UK Energy Statistics.

Comparing the energy mix with 2011, there was a notable shift from gas to coal generation in 2012. Gas's share of electricity generation fell by 12 percentage points, with coal's increasing by nine," DECC said. Coal accounted for 30% of electricity generation in 2011, with gas 41%.

Electricity generated from renewables increased by almost a fifth, from 9.4% in 2011 to 11.3%, thanks largely to offshore wind. Onshore wind generation increased by 27% in 2012, offshore wind generation by 46% and solar PV by 71% (due to high uptake in feed in tarrifs), according to DECC.

Offshore wind achieved a load factor of 33.7% in 2012 (greater than the gas load factor of 30.4%), the report said.

DECC said that overall primary energy consumption was up 2.1% in 2012, largely due to the colder weather. But is said that on a temperature adjusted basis consumption was down 0.6%, continuing the downward trend of the last seven years.

UK electricity generation in 2012 (Source: DECC)

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