UK fossil fuel electricity ‘at lowest level since 1957’

The amount of UK electricity generated from fossil fuels fell 22% year-on-year in 2023 to the lowest level since 1957. 

Analysis from Carbon Brief has revealed the 104TWh generated from fossil fuels in 2023 is the lowest level in 66 years. 

Electricity from fossil fuels has now fallen by two-thirds (199TWh) since peaking in 2008, according to the analysis.

Within that total, coal has dropped by 115TWh (97%) and gas by 80TWh (45%).

These declines have been caused by the rapid expansion of renewable energy (up six-fold since 2008, some 113TWh) and by lower electricity demand (down 21% since 2008, some 83TWh).

As a result, fossil fuels made up just 33% of UK electricity supplies in 2023 – their lowest ever share – of which gas was 31%, coal just over 1% and oil just below 1%, the analysis found.

Low-carbon sources made up 56% of the total, of which renewables were 43% and nuclear 13%.

The remainder is from imports (7%) and other sources (3%), such as waste incineration.

Overall, the electricity generated in the UK in 2023 had the lowest-ever carbon intensity, with an average of 162g of carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour (gCO2/kWh).

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