Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2009 now published

Published on Thursday, 30 July 2009 09:55
Posted by Annabelle McGuinness

The Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics 2009 is now published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change

With many detailed tables, supported by charts and commentary, the Digest provides comprehensive data for 2008, and an account of trends in energy supply and demand in the United Kingdom. The Digest is available both in hard copy from The Stationery Office and free on the Internet at:


Included with the Digest this year is the popular booklet “UK Energy in Brief” (which summarizes the latest energy statistics in 29 Charts), and the “Energy Flow Chart” (which shows the UK energy flows pictorially for 2008).

In addition, to mark the 60th anniversary of the publication of the Digest a special publication DUKES: 60th anniversary has been produced this year to illustrate the changes in energy production and consumption over the past 60 years.

Data for 2008, in Energy Consumption in the United Kingdom are also now released on the Internet by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. This publication brings together statistics from a variety of sources, providing a comprehensive review of energy consumption in the UK since the 1970s. It is available on the Internet at:


where detailed tables can also be found.

In addition, UK Energy Sector Indicators are also now released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. This publication is designed to show in headline form the progress that has been made in implementing the key energy policy goals. It is available on the Internet at:


where supporting data can also be found.


Main trends in energy in 2008:

Overall, there was a decrease in indigenous energy production of 5 per cent and a decrease in primary energy consumption of 1 per cent in the UK, compared with 2007.

Overall primary fuel consumption was not met by indigenous production; this continues the trend from 2004, when the UK again became a net importer of fuel. The UK imported more coal, manufactured fuels, crude oil, electricity and gas than it exported; however, the UK remained a net exporter of petroleum products.

A higher coal-gas price differential increased the commercial attractiveness of gas for electricity generation, and decreased the amount of electricity generated from coal. Gas accounted for 46 per cent of electricity supplied, up from 43 per cent in 2007.

Overall, there was a decrease of 0.5 per cent in final energy consumption in the UK compared with 2007.

The reduced demand for fossil fuels, and switching from coal to gas for electricity generation provisionally reduced the emissions of carbon dioxide by 2 per cent in 2008.

Electricity generated from renewable sources in the UK in 2008, represented 5.5 per cent of total UK electricity generation, up from 4.9 per cent in 2007. On a renewable obligation basis, 5.4 per cent of electricity came from eligible sources, which is nearly treble the 1.8 per cent achieved in 2002.
Refinery production decreased by 1 per cent and petroleum product exports decreased by 4 per cent.

In 2008, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) capacity stood at 5,469 MWe, a small (0.3 per cent) increase on 2007.

In 2008, the energy industries’ accounted for 4.8 per cent of GDP and 7.1 per cent of total investment.
Main energy production and trade statistics:

Primary energy production in the United Kingdom in 2008, at 176.9 million tonnes of oil equivalent, was 4.9 per cent lower than in 2007.

Gross natural gas production fell 3.4 per cent in 2008. Gross natural gas production has fallen by 36 per cent since its peak in 2000. Net imports of gas accounted for 28 per cent of gas input into the transmission system.

Crude oil (including NGLs) production in 2008, was 6.4 per cent lower than in 2007, at 72 million tonnes, and now accounts for 44 per cent of indigenous energy production.

Coal production was 6.2 per cent higher in 2008, compared to 2007. Imports of coal were also higher compared to 2007 (by 1.2 per cent). As less coal was used in electricity generation this led to an increase in coal stocks.

Electricity supplied from nuclear sources has continued to decline in 2008, accounting for 47.7 TWh out of the total electricity supply of 379.0 TWh (13 per cent). This is its lowest proportion since 1981.
Main energy consumption statistics:

UK energy consumption in 2008, decreased by 1.1 per cent.

Overall gas demand rose by 3.1 per cent. Gas demand for electricity generation rose by 6.2 per cent and gas’ share of the UK’s supply of electricity was 45 per cent.

Total oil consumption in the UK was down 3.1 per cent in 2008, at 77.4 million tonnes of oil equivalent. The majority of this, 74 per cent, was consumed in the transport sector.

Consumption of Derv fuel exceeded the consumption of motor spirit in 2008, by 4 million tonnes.

Coal consumption fell by 7.5 per cent in 2008. There was a 9.0 per cent decrease in consumption by major power producers (consumers of 82 per cent of total coal demand). 32 per cent of the electricity generated in the UK came from coal in 2008, down from 34 per cent in 2007. The domestic sector accounted for only 1.2 per cent of total coal consumption.

Energy consumption by final users (i.e. after conversion to secondary fuels, such as electricity or road transport fuels) at 164.9 million tonnes of oil equivalent fell by 0.5 per cent in 2008. Consumption decreased in the industry and transport sectors and amongst non-energy uses, while it increased in the domestic and service sectors.
Main electricity generation and supply statistics:

There was a 0.4 per cent decrease in the total supply of electricity in the UK in 2008, to 399.6 TWh. This is the third successive year that total electricity supply has fallen. Indigenous electricity supply fell by 1.8 per cent but net imports of electricity more than doubled to 11 TWh caused by both higher imports and lower exports.

Energy industries’ use of electricity fell by 8.4 per cent in 2008, to 30.6 TWh. Lower use by the energy industry was the main driver behind the decrease in supply as final consumption of electricity increased slightly by 0.1 per cent to 341.6 TWh.

The domestic sector was the largest electricity consumer in 2008 (117.8 TWh), while the industrial sector consumed 113.6TWh. This is the opposite pattern to 2007 when the industrial sector consumed more than the domestic sector. Domestic consumption increased by 2.4 per cent and industrial consumption decreased by 2.9 per cent.

In 2008, the proportion of UK electricity generated from renewables was 5.5 per cent. On the basis of the policy measurement of the contribution of renewables eligible under the Renewables Obligation to UK electricity sales, 2008 showed continued growth with the percentage increasing from 4.5 per cent in 2006, to 4.8 per cent in 2007, and 5.4 per cent in 2008. Installed electrical generating capacity of renewable sources rose by 19 per cent in 2008, mainly as a result of a 49 per cent increase in offshore wind capacity, a 38 per cent increase in onshore wind capacity and a 4 per cent increase in the capacity of sites fuelled by biomass and wastes.


The overall increase in final energy consumption between 1990 and 2008, was 7.5 million tonnes of oil equivalent – an increase of 5.1 per cent. The changes in the main sectors, between 1990 and 2008, were:

Sector Percentage change

Industry                                                                 -21
Domestic                                                               +12
Transport                                                              +21
Services, public administration and agriculture               +3

Growth in energy consumption in the transport sector is slowing. Transport energy consumption has more than doubled between 1970 and 2008, however, two thirds of this increase had occurred by 1990. Transport energy consumption rose 21 per cent between 1990 and 2008. Within this, the largest increase occurred in the air transport sector, where consumption rose by 83 per cent. Over the same period, the rail sector’s consumption rose by 31 per cent, while passenger road fuel rose by 4 per cent.

Domestic energy consumption increased by 12 per cent between 1990 and 2008. However, despite a 3 per cent increase between 2007 and 2008, domestic energy consumption has fallen from the high seen in 2004, when consumption was 19 per cent higher than in 1990. For context, since 1990, the number of households in the UK increased by 16 per cent, the population by 7 per cent and total household disposable income by 60 per cent in real terms. In 2007, space heating accounted for 56 per cent of all energy consumed in the domestic sector and it is estimated that over the last thirty years, if savings from insulation and heating efficiency improvements had not been made, then energy consumption in homes would be around twice current levels.

In 2008, the largest energy consuming single sub-sector in the industrial sector was chemicals, which accounted for 18 per cent of all industrial energy consumption. In 2008, energy consumption in the chemical sector was 3 per cent lower than the previous year. The iron and steel sector showed the largest percentage decrease on the year in 2008, with a fall of 11 per cent. Energy consumption per unit output fell by 41 per cent in the chemicals sector between 1990 and 2008, while there was a fall of 16 per cent in the same measure for the iron and steel sector; for all industries there was a fall of 26 per cent.

In the service sector, energy consumption in the private sector increased by 16 per cent between 1990 and 2008, but fell by 8 per cent in the public sector. Over the same period, output, measured as the contribution made to the UK economy, nearly doubled in the private sector and increased by 32 per cent in the public sector, in real terms. In 2007, space heating accounted for 47 per cent of energy consumption in the services sector, and lighting accounted for a further 19 per cent. The retail sub-sector accounts for just under one quarter of energy use by service sector organisations.
Reduced energy consumption between 2007 and 2008, has helped lower emissions of carbon dioxide by 2 per cent, with the reduction since 1990, being 10.3 per cent.

Source: The Department of Energy and Climate Change

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