Electricity

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 10th June 2002.

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Photo of Mr Bill Tynan Mr Bill Tynan Labour, Hamilton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of the UK's electricity in the last 12 months has come from (a) wind power, (b) wave power, (c) solar power, (d) coal-fired power stations, (e) gas-fired power stations and (f) nuclear power stations; what those percentages were in each of the previous 10 years; and what she estimates the likely percentage will be in each of the next 10 years.

Photo of Mr Brian Wilson Mr Brian Wilson Minister of State (Industry and Energy), Department of Trade and Industry

Generation from onshore and offshore wind in 2000 (the last full year for which data is available) was 946 GWh (0.25 per cent. of total generation) having risen steadily from a low base of 9 GWh in 1990. Wave power output in 2000 was from shoreline devices only and was less than 1 MWh. Solar photovoltaics produced 2 GWh of electricity in 2000, which was less than 0.01 per cent. of total generation.

Generation from coal accounted for 70 per cent. of the UK's electricity in 1990, falling to 29 per cent. in 1999, but rising to 32 per cent. in 2000. Gas fired stations accounted for less than 1 per cent. of UK generation in 1990, but rose to 15 per cent. by 1995 and 39 per cent. in 2000. Nuclear power stations accounted for 20 per cent. of UK generation in 1990 and peaked at 28 per cent. in 1998 before falling back to 26 per cent. in 1999 and 23 per cent. in 2000.

Projections for the shares of different types of generating station over the next 20 years can be found in Annex D of Energy paper 68, published by DTI in November 2000. The paper can be viewed on the web at www2.dti.gov.uk/energy/energy_projections.htm

Given that the Renewables Obligation is a market- based approach, the deployment levels for individual renewable technologies are for the industry rather than the Government, and we do not have forward estimates for those technologies individually. We would, however, expect a significant contribution to the 10 per cent. target for renewable energy from onshore and offshore wind energy. Wave and solar technology need further development for them to become commercially viable.

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