February 23, 2008

U.K. fossil fuel use for electricity, 2002-2006

From 2002 to 2006, fossil fuel (coal, natural gas, and oil) use for the generation of electricity in the U.K. increased 4.664 mtoe (million tonnes oil equivalent). But electricity generation increased only 0.73 mtoe. This is according to data provided in the 2007 Digest of U.K. Energy Statistics from the Dept. for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform [BERR (formerly DTI, Dept. of Trade and Industry)].

Part of the increase in fossil fuels was due to a decline in nuclear, hydro, and imported sources totaling 2.363 mtoe. That still leaves an increase of 2.301 mtoe in fossil fuel use for an increased electricity supply of only 0.73 mtoe.

That increase of fossil fuels of more than three times the increase of electricity is even more surprising because nonhydro renewables (primarily wind energy) increased 1.655 mtoe in the same period, and other fuels (e.g., burning trash) increased 0.468.

In other words, despite (or because of) building thousands of new wind turbines, the U.K. uses more fossil fuel to generate electricity.

wind power, wind energy, environment, environmentalism