The share of gas in the UK’s generation mix fell from 39.9 percent in 2011 to 27.5 percent in 2012 – its lowest share in the mix since 1996 – due to high gas prices, according to statistics released on Thursday by the Department of Energy and Climate Change DECC. Coal’s share in the mix by contrast increased from 29.5 percent in 2011 to 39.3 percent in 2012. Total electricity generated in 2012 fell by 1.3 percent from 367.8TWh in 2011 to 363.2TWh in 2012.The increased demand for coal helped push UK coal imports to 44.8 million tons in 2012, an increase of 37.7 percent when compared to 2011 levels. Steam coal which is largely used for power generation accounted for 88.9 percent of all coal imports in 2012.96.1 percent of all UK steam coal imports in 2012 came from three countries: Russia 44.5 percent, Colombia 29.9 percent and the US 21.7 percent. Imports from the US almost doubled from 2011 levels, increasing by 93.5 percent to 8634 tons. Strong growth was observed in steam coal imports from Russia and Columbia as well, with 46.6 percent and 46.5 percent increases to 11,919 tons and 17,723 tons, respectively.In addition to coal, renewables also experienced growth, increasing their share of electricity generation by close to 20 percent from 9.4 percent in 2011 to a record 11.3 percent in 2012. Nuclear’s share rose by less than one percent to 19.4 percent and oil held steady at one percent.
Share of gas in UK generation mix falls, coal rises – DECC statistics