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Page added on December 27, 2012

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UK uses more coal than natural gas

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The United Kingdom continues to use more coal-fired power than natural gas, the Department of Energy and Climate Change recently reported. Coal-fired power increased by about 50 percent in the third quarter of 2012 to reach 28.66 terawatt-hours, while gas-fired generation fell 41 percent to 22.83 TWh.

High natural gas prices deterred gas burning in the United Kingdom, Platts reported. The DECC also said gas burning fell to its lowest third-quarter share in 14 years.

Renewable energy sources, however, are rising in the United Kingdom. The DECC said renewables generation in the third quarter of 2012 rose by more than 25 percent, mainly due to wind energy installations. Offshore wind production in the third quarter was 54 percent higher than seen during the three-month period in 2011. Onshore wind farms produced 2.56 TWh in Q3, an increase of 38.2 percent compared to last year, Platts reported.

Biomass-fired production also increased 25 percent during the final months of 2012 compared to last year. The nation’s biggest coal-fired power plant also recently announced it would convert to burning biomass instead of coal. Bloomberg reported the plant operators plan to spend $1 billion to convert to burning wood pellets in three to four years.

PennEnergy’s research area offers details on the use of biomass in the U.K.


4 Comments on "UK uses more coal than natural gas"

  1. John baldwin on Thu, 27th Dec 2012 4:43 pm 

    No it does not. The author is confusing electricity generation with total energy, a mistake often made

    The UK heats the majority of its homes with natural gas and so a lot more gas is used than coal. In addition, gas is used widely in industry. Electricity generation is only 1/3rd of energy use.

  2. Kenz300 on Thu, 27th Dec 2012 6:35 pm 

    Climate Change is real….

    The world needs to stop building any more coal fired power plants. Better alternatives are available.

    Coal, oil and nuclear are the past.

    Wind solar, wave energy and geothermal are the future.

    It is time to move forward.

  3. BillT on Fri, 28th Dec 2012 2:41 am 

    Kenz, last I read, China was building a new coal fired electric plant every WEEK. India is still growing their coal use. As NG costs climb in America, many plants will go back to coal and the pollution regulations will be ignored as they were previously. We are going to burn all the carbon we can until we destroy the earth’s ecosystem. That is what greed does.

  4. Steve Leary on Sat, 5th Jan 2013 9:12 pm 

    The Loose Anti Opencast Network, a UK based organisation, published a press release on 1/1/13 entitled ‘2013 – A Crunch Time for Coal and the UK Coal Industry’, which predicted that by 2023 the UK may have only 1 coal fired power station left. The remaining 18 are either likely to close (6 by 2016) convert to burn biomass ( 2 of those to close by 2016 + 2 more all are part definitely converting + 2 more possibly converting). By the end of this year, owners of the remaining 9 plants have to decide whether to upgrade their plant to meet new EU pollution standards by 2023. Only one so far, seems likely to be upgraded. If that is the only one upgraded, coal consumption in the UK is set to fall from the c 42m tonnes in 2011 to no more than 7.0m tonnes in 2023.

    The press release is available to download from:

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