Gas demand last year was the highest since 2011, according to latest government data. While households and businesses burnt more due to a colder winter, the power sector was the primary driver as coal economics tanked.
In all, gas demand in 2016 was up 12.6 per cent on 2015 – the highest demand figure since 2011, according to the department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The department said that was was driven by a 39 per cent rise in gas instead of coal used in electricity generation. Households also burnt a bit more, up 5.1 per cent.
A colder than usual winter meant those increases were more marked, with households in the fourth quarter burning 24 per cent more gas than the previous year, and the power sector’s consumption up 48 per cent.
The UK was also much more reliant on imported gas over winter, with net imports up 44 per cent on Q4 2015 as exports fell. A particularly cold Q4 2016 and the delayed restart of gas withdrawals from the Rough storage facility could also have affected the trade figures, said BEIS.
Of the UK’s imported gas, Norway supplied around two thirds (64%). Imports from Belgium hit a three year high. Piped Dutch gas and Qatari LNG made up the remainder.
See the data here.