|There is widespread coverage of analysis by Carbon Brief that shows UK power generators supplied less electricity last year than at any time since 1994 as demand from homes and industry continues to fall.
The Daily Telegraph highlights that the UK generated just 335 terawatt hours last year, a drop of almost a sixth from the country’s power generation peak in 2005.
This 24-year generation low was achieved “despite rising population numbers and decades of economic growth since the early nineties”. At the same time, the share of electricity generated from renewables reached a record in 2018.
Wind accounted for 17% of the total power generated last year, while solar contributed 4% and burning plant material or biomass for electricity produced 11%.
The overall share generated by renewables increased to 33% last year, compared with 29% the year before.
Carbon Brief’s deputy editor Simon Evans, who carried out the analysis, says the fall in electricity demand could be due to “a combination of more efficient appliances, energy-saving lightbulbs, more recently, LEDs”. “Then there’s supermarkets installing better fridges, industry using more efficient pumps. Across all of those businesses, efficiency will have been going up. And of course there’s the changing nature of industry in the UK,” he adds. The findings show the impact that energy efficiency gains can have, notes BBC News, which argues this “Cinderella” topic is “often ignored or derided” in favour of “glamorous renewables” that “grab the headlines”.
Evans was also interviewed on Radio 4’s Today Programme – a recording is available here.