Friday, 29 June 2012

Decline in UK energy production continues: DECC

DECC published the latest instalment of its quarterly Energy Trends yesterday, here's a quick summary of the key figures:


  • Production down 13% on a year ago.
  • Imports increased by 21.7% on a year ago.
  • Crude oil stocks have been declining gradually over the past few years.
  • About 34% of UK oil demand was met by imports over the past 12 months.


  • Gas production was down 14% on a year ago.
  • Imports shifted away from LNG and towards pipelines compared to a year ago - this isn't surprising given that Japan has been importing extra LNG due to the shutdown of its nuclear reactors since Fukushima.
  • Net imports were down 13% on a year ago, due to milder weather and a significant fall in the use of gas for electricity generation (coal use increased in its place).
  • Despite the fall in net imports, the UK still imported 42% of its gas over the past 12 months.


  • Coal production was down 12% on a year ago.
  • Coal imports were up 20.8% on a year ago. This was still lower than Q1 2009, but it's worth noting that stocks of coal are much lower now than then, so it seems the imports would have been higher still if not for this.
  • Over the past 12 months, about 66% of our coal has been imported.


  •  Generation fell 11.6% compared to a year ago.


  • Generation was up 39% compared to a year ago, though down a bit on the record set in Q4 2011. High rainfall and stronger wind have helped here, as well as increased capacity.
  • Renewable share of total electricity was 11.1%, compared to 7.7% a year ago.
  • Installed capacity was up 36% on a year ago, to 13GW.

Page 72 also had a really interesting graph, showing industrial energy and fuel prices:
Note the steady run up in prices to the peak in 2008, followed by a dip as recession took hold. However, you can see that since that dip, prices have reached new highs (in £ sterling) for crude oil, fuel oil and coal, while in 2011 electricity and gas are pretty much back where they were in 2008.

I think this is why the economic problems are not going to go away - the high and rising prices make it progressively more difficult for the economy to grow, even without the growing pile of debt and austerity measures to deal with it.
    You can download a copy of DECC's latest Energy Trends here.


    1 comment:

    1. Just when will the brick, of ever more expensive hydrocarbons, hit David Cameron at the back of his head? They're becoming more scarce as accelerating demand kicks in and it will be exponential!

      Please - a nuclear breeder reactor programme, sooner rather than later!

      The only decision - should we choose LMFBRs or MSBRs? -