UK loses 11.4GW of coal and gas capacity in three years


220px-rugeley_power_station_-_geograph-org_-uk_-_38807-1-150x150The UK lost 11.4GW of coal and gas generation capacity in the three years to end of 2015, latest government data shows.

Some 8.8GW of coal-fired plant came off the transmission system, alongside 2.6GW of gas.

However, over the same period, around 3.5GW of renewable generation was connected to the transmission system (almost 1GW of onshore wind, around 1.3GW offshore wind and 1.25GW of bioenergy).

Meanwhile, over 10.3GW of net new capacity was installed on the distribution network: some 2.3GW of onshore wind; around 0.8GW of offshore wind; 0.8GW of bioenergy and a 7.4GW surge of solar PV since end of 2012.

According to the DUKES figures, total UK solar PV capacity at the end of 2015 stood at 9.2GW, an increase of 3.8GW, or 69%, on 2014.

While cuts to subsidies have pared back subsequent PV growth rates, National Grid predicts solar PV capacity will hit 12GW by next summer, requiring greater system flexibility.

DUKES data confirms that there are now more than 800,000 solar PV installations in the UK, which suggests a significant opportunity for battery storage growth should prices continue to fall in line with estimates.

See the full statistics here.

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  1. How come BEIS forgot to mention that overall consumption of electricity also dropped by 25TWh since 2010? Of course, their philosophy remains “Real Men Build Power Stations.”

        • It’s a 266 page document with lots of data and I chose that angle because it is interesting. But that’s where the comment section provides additional value. Any thoughts on whether that decline in consumption is down to actual improvements in energy efficiency or simply post-GFC economics combined with globalisation of industry?

          • I suspect the angle you chose might be the one the Government publicity machine prefers, ( hooked as it still is upon the Real Men Build Powerstations machismo), rather than the full picture , which should have reflected the continuous drop in consumption levels.

            There has been a whole raft of discussion about how , why and where this is occurring (albeit not much in Official Publications). Industrial output has increased significantly during this period, GDP has increased by 14% . The answer to your question just might be that the goods we buy and the buildings we occupy are quite simply becoming more and more energy efficient. Which is what I always imagined your publication was about.

            Not sure what you refer to when you write about “post-GFC economics”.

          • We cover everything energy from a business perspective. Dukes stats pop up reasonably regularly and we might pick declining consumption angle next time, or in the print edition. In the meantime, if you’d like to outline your thoughts on how, why and what next, feel free to pen something full and frank for publication in the next issue and online.


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