Fossil fuel power has been on the wane in the UK over the last five years, while output from wind power has more than trebled.
Statistics from data specialist EnAppSys relates to levels of fuel generation in January since 2010. Since 2010 demand has fallen 11 per cent, wind power output has climbed 340 per cent, coal-fired power output fallen 21 per cent and Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) output fallen 55 per cent.
Paul Verrill, director of EnAppSys, told Power Engineering International: “Since 2010 the GB power market has arguably seen its most notable period of change since the early 1990s, when the market was privatized and the dash for gas era began. This resulted in the transformation of gas from a nominal source of fuel for power generation to the primary electricity generating fuel.
“In these years since 2010, rising gas prices, falling electrical demand and increased levels of generation from unconventional sources have transformed the market, with levels of power generation in January alone at gas-fired plants and coal plants experiencing strong declines.”
“This has occurred as the last ten years have seen the growth of a wind fleet that was practically non-existent a decade ago into a fleet that provided almost 14 per cent of power in January 2015 – up 340 per cent from the levels seen in January 2010.”
“This, combined with increased levels of power imports from the continent and an 11 per cent fall in levels of electrical demand over the same period, has reduced the requirement for generation from conventional thermal power stations.
Verrill told PEi that further changes would come as the evolving market becomes less carbon intensive.
“As greater integration with Europe markets continues, we could be entering the most transformational period in the history of the GB power market.”
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