That’s up by around 3% over 2013; an increase driven by an 11% uptick in wind output.

And that estimate could be on the low side, as these provisional Government figures exlude auto-producers and “some renewable sources”, including the burgeoning solar sector.

Conversely, coal power production fell by 7%, although it still accounted for a third of UK electricity.

Figure 1: Electricity – share of generation from major power producers

Energy use

The promising figures also revealed that UK energy consumption fell by 7%. However this fell to 3% when warmer temperatures were factored in, since 2014 was the warmest year on record.

A 5% uptick in energy efficiency was the major reason for reason for lower consumption, although the switch to wind power also helped. 100% of electricity generated by wind power is usable, whereas with coal generation, energy is lost when converting the fuel into electricity. This in itself decreased fuel consumption by 1% according to Decc.

Figure 2: Primary energy consumption.

Global progress

In related news, the Chinese Government also revealed positive figures today, showing that coal consumption fell by 2.9% in 2014.

It is the biggest recorded fall in 30 years, according to Greenpeace, and the first time on record that emissions fell while total energy consumption grew.

The drop was attributed to increased use of ‘clean coal’ and the booming production of renewables.

Earlier today Decc announced the results of the first Contracts for Difference auction, which saw 27 renewable projects granted contracts worth £315m. Read edie’s analysis of what the announcement means for the industry, here.

Brad Allen

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