Conventional electricity declineAlthough coal is still the world’s leading source of electricity, it accounted for just two percent of electricity generation in the UK in 2021. This fossil fuel is expected to be completely phased out as a power source in the country by 2025. Similarly, gas-fired power – which was the leading electricity source in the UK in 2021 – is likely to reach its peak in 2025 and then start to decrease. A recent forecast sees electricity production from natural gas dropping to less than 35 terawatt-hours in 2030 and 2035, then growing again by 2040.
The decade of renewables and nuclear energyThe past decade saw a boom in renewable deployment in the UK. In 2020, renewables surpassed natural gas for the first time to become the leading source of electricity generation in the UK. And the new age of renewables is just beginning. The UK’s renewable capacity is expected to more than double by 2040, up to 100 gigawatts.
Meanwhile, nuclear power generation in the country reached a decade-low of some 46 terawatt-hours in 2021. The UK’s nuclear fleet is set to retire within six years and, in 2021, only two nuclear reactors were under construction. However, in 2022, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the UK government announced a new expansion of nuclear power, planning the inauguration of new-generation nuclear plants in the next decades.