Energy and Utility Management Consultants

Coal hits records output levels, EMR set-back, new investment expected

May 2013


Coal-fired generation hit a 16-year high in 2012 and accounted for almost 40% of all UK energy generation, in part thanks to the relatively low wholesale cost of coal. On the flipside; the relatively high natural gas wholesale cost saw gas-fired generation fall from 40% in 2011 to 27.5% in 2012. Energy generated by renewable means climbed to 11.3% of the total energy mix, but while overall generation output was down by 1.3% year-on-year, imports nearly doubled.

The controversial electricity market reform (EMR) programme may suffer a set-back with the resignation of the most senior civil servant in the scheme. With EMR due to go through legislation, Jonathan Brearley, the director of energy strategy and futures at the DECC, failed to attend a conference this week; reportedly due to his resignation in July. The aim of EMR is to promote investment in the energy infrastructure, and is subject to much speculation, but more will be reported when final proposals are available for review.

An agreement between the UK and Abu Dhabi (£1bn of UAE investment in ‘alternative’ energy) is expected to be reached this week as the President of the United Arab Emirates visits London. If the deal goes through it is hoped that the high profile investment will encourage not only growth in the renewable sector, but also further large investment proposals, and the stimulus needed to prompt an economic recovery.

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