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Move Over Coal – U.K. Now Gets Half Of Its Power From Nat Gas

According to statistics released by the United Kingdom’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in the second quarter of this year, natural gas was the source of a little over half of the power in the United Kingdom, while coal fell to a record low.

Gas accounted for 50.9 percent of generated electricity by major power producers in the UK in Q2, with nuclear power coming in at 24.2 percent, renewables at 18.1 percent, and coal coming in dead last at 6.8 percent.

Coal use by those same power producers fell 71 percent, and gas use rose 52 percent as total electricity generation dropped by 0.9 percent.

Gas use by power generators peaked in April of this year, the highest level of use since October of 2011. May 2016 was coal’s lowest usage month since 1995.

In addition to the closing of some coal plants, gas use was bolstered by the availability of cheap gas on the UK spot market, where gas traded, at least temporarily, for a little less than $4 per BTU. ¬

Primary energy consumption in the UK during the second quarter fell 0.3 percent, and the production of natural gas within the United Kingdom saw a drop of 3.2 percent. This is in contrast from the first quarter of this year, when gas production was up 5 percent, attributed to the first gas flows from the Laggan-Tomore field in the West Shetland Isles in February of last year. Those fields are operated by French Major Total.

By Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com

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