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Next up for energy trends, is the Energy consumption in the first quarter of 2021 was low as COVID-19 restrictions continued to reduce demand. Energy requirements for industrial use were down 2.1 per cent on the same period last year, and demand from other final users (e.g., shops, restaurants, offices, and public buildings) were down 4.6 per cent. Domestic demand was up 8.9 per cent as more people stayed at home.
Oil used for transport dropped 31 per cent compared the same period last year, led by a 70 per cent fall in aviation demand. Diesel demand was down 15 per cent and petrol demand down 29 per cent.
Production and trade in energy was also disrupted. Overall energy production fell 12 per cent as maintenance activities curtailed output on the UK’s Continental Shelf. Imports of gas reached a record level, offsetting lower than normal production to meet higher than normal demand for gas generation. Conversely, the UK exported more primary oils than it imported for only the second time since 2005. Renewable generation fell on the same period last year due to less favourable conditions in 2021, particularly for wind. Windy conditions last year led to record renewable generation and the stiller weather this year decreased wind generation by 20 per cent to 21 TWh. Despite this fall, renewable generation still (marginally) outpaced fossil fuel generation and has done so for four of the last five quarters.
Growth in renewable generation energy trends capacity was modest, up 1.5 per cent on the same period last year. Growth in renewable capacity has slowed since the start of 2020.
Maintenance on the nuclear fleet reduced generation by 12 per cent and as a result low carbon’s share of generation was 6.8 percentage points down on last year at 55.4 per cent. Coal generation continued to decline, with generation now at just 2.9 per cent.
In the first quarter of 2021 total production was 29.7 million tonnes of oil equivalent, 12 per cent lower
than in the first quarter of 2020. Production of all primary fuels fell, with reduced fossil fuel (coal, oil & gas) and
nuclear output, due to reduced demand and delayed maintenance activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and
numerous outages at UK nuclear power stations. Wind, solar and hydro output fell due to less favourable
weather conditions for all renewable technologies.
Solid fuels and derived gases Trends
Oil and oil product energy trends
Gas Energy Trends
Electricity Energy Trends
Demand decreased in both non-domestic sectors in Quarter 1 2021 but increased in the domestic sector. Electricity consumed by the industrial sector was down 2.3 per cent while consumption by other final users (including commercial users) decreased by 18 per cent. Domestic electricity consumption increased by 8.4 per cent.
Lower wind speeds led to a 16 decrease in renewable generation in Quarter 1 of 2021 and a consequent 15 per increase in fossil fuel generation required to meet demand over the quarter. Nuclear generation fell by 12 per cent in Quarter 1 2021 to 11.6 TWh as outages continued at many of the UK’s nuclear plants. As a consequence of these weather and maintenance factors, low carbon generation fell 6.8 percentage points on last year’s record to 55.4 per cent.
Renewable Energy Trends