Today we’re going to talk about the power generation mix in UK. For you to understand how power is generated in the UK, it is imperative that you know what power generation mix is?
Power Generation Mix
In any given geographic region, the combination of various fuels used to generate electricity is known as Power generation mix. It is also known as the electricity mix, and it varies from region to region and depends on global markets national policies choices and local fuel production.
Power Generation Mix in UK
According to BEIS, in power generation mix in UK from 2006 to 2016, there was a 60% increase in low carbon power generation. In 2016 the power generated in UK was 42% from gas, 47% from low carbon, 9% coal and 2% other fuels.
The electric power transmission network for Great Britain is a known as National Grid. According to National Grid, the power generation mix in UK of summer 2017 almost 52% of power came from low carbon sources as compared to 35% in 2013. This shows that UK is moving towards generating more and more power from low carbon sources.
UK’s First Coal Free Day
Now the power generation is still dominated by coal at the global level with 38% of the mix in 2018. But UK slowly worked its way towards a Coal free day. In 2015, 22% of power in UK was generated by coal while in 2016 this reduced to 9% and finally, we saw a coal free day in 2017 in UK. The National Grid UK states that April 21, 2017, was the first coal free day for the United Kingdom since the industrial revolution.
In terms of energy content, the total production of primary fuels fell by 3.1% in 2020 as compared to 2019. Due to the delayed North Sea maintenance activities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the growth in renewable sources like bio energy and waste, wind, solar and hydro was offset by reduced fossil fuel and nuclear output. Another reason for this offset is the numerous outages at the UK nuclear power stations.
Power Generation Mix in UK Report 2021
According to the UK energy brief in 2021 report on power generation mix in UK, in 2020, the coal production fell to a record low level whereas primary oil like crude oil and natural gas liquids accounted for 43% of the total production. The natural gas accounted for 30%, primary electricity that consists of nuclear, went, solar and natural flow hydro was 15%, bio energy and waste 10% and coal accounted for the remaining 1%.
National Grid Live Report
At this moment according to the National Grid Live the demand of power generation in UK is 33.3 GW while the generation is 36.6 GW that leaves the export to be 3.3 GW. The National Grid live website also says that the coal, oil, and gas combined are generating 63.6% of power in UK. The renewable energy sources like solar photovoltaic, wind and hydroelectric combined are producing 24.4% of power in the UK. The pumped storage, nuclear, biomass and other sources production amounts to 21.9% of power generation in the UK.
UK Goal to use Renewable Energy sources
All in all, the UK government has been very successful in transitioning from coal to renewable energy sources. The Ex-Prime Minister of UK Boris Johnson said: “We’re setting out bold plans to scale up and accelerate affordable, clean and secure energy made in Britain, for Britain – from new nuclear to offshore wind – in the decade ahead”.
In relation to the high energy prices, he said: This will reduce our dependence on power sources exposed to volatile international prices we cannot control, so we can enjoy greater energy self-sufficiency with cheaper bills.
Overall, UK has a huge goal for all power generation to come from 100% zero-carbon generation by 2035. Hopefully, the UK government can achieve this goal.