Actually good news

Somebody knows what they’re doing. The fossil contribution to the UK national grid – the red line – has gone from just shy of 30GW in 2013 to 14.6GW now. Imports are up a bit, but the heavy lift is from renewables, which have doubled, and efficiency, which kicked in about 5GW.

Created with Highcharts 3.0.0January 2013January 2014January 2015January 2016January 2017January 20180GW10GW20GW30GW40GW50GWJanuary 2014Demand: 38.2GWFossil fuels: 23.45GWRenewable energy: 4.36GWOther energy: 8.23GWInterconnectors: 2.11GW

From here.

4 Comments on "Actually good news"

  1. Some longer term perspective here, with helpful smoothing and weather adjustment. (Don’t know how to href it on this blogging platform, sorry).

    The graph at Carbon Brief shows a clear down*step* following the GFC. Defo a down*trend* after that, but the numbers you’re quoting look like you’re comparing an annual peak with a near-trough.

    What’s interesting is that domestic *gas* consumption (mainly heat) has been trending down for the past decade, too.


  2. It is good news, for a while. But we do need to get off gas, and that’s going to be a lot harder, as well as supply energy for electric cars.
    As I type this solar is supplying significantly more than hydro power, I assume the hydro will kick in this evening when there is no solar.

    Interesting that domestic gas consumption has been trending down, is that to do with better insulated houses, or people too poor to turn the gas on, or both and other explanations?


  3. So, to recap, this has all happened despite the ‘Telegraph’ being utterly opposed to both the renewable and the efficiency elements? Not because they are concretely trying to fry the planet, of course — it’s more a case of fighting against all possible markers of change in order to retain the emotional attachment of their readership.

    As for domestic gas, how much of that can be explained by a combination of a one-off shift to more efficient boilers (I learned during that recent cold snap that nearly everyone I know with a boiler has one with a condenser outlet…), a slow ongoing shift towards better insulated houses, and another one-off shift towards insulated lofts?


  4. Is it efficiency or poverty? A commenter on another blog plotted electricity consumption for non-residential use in various UK regions, 2005-2015, with 2005 assumed as 100% for all:

    it is very strange that the north east and west have seen fall of around 20% but the richer regions of the south haven’t. Very surprising that the north leads the race to greater efficiency in industrial and commercial electricity usage.
    Even more interesting to look at international comparisons of per-capita electricity consumption, for example this:

    Since 2005 the UK, Spain, Greece , Italy┬áhave had surging “efficiency”, despite a deep crisis in at least three of them. I could not find regional data for Greece or Spain, but regional data for Italy show the same patter as the UK: the poorest regions show much bigger “efficiency” improvements than the richer regions.

    Other countries have merely stalled or show surges. It is for example amazing that South Korea has had the opposite of “efficiency” improvements.
    Also this has not happened for 100 years to first-world countries: with higher GDP per capita electricity consumption per capita has always risen with it.
    But second-world countries in the 1990s achieved amazing “efficiency” improvements in a few years, which have however sadly ended:

    For first-world countries it looks either as if the more industrial and poorer regions invested far more than regions in electricity saving equipment, or as if a large chunk of their industrial economy and thus of their electricity consumption simply moved to China a few years after China joined the WTO.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.