Trends in sources of UK energy and generationJump to full report >>
Final UK energy consumption rose by 12% in the two decades to 2000. It has fallen modestly since then apart from steeper drops of 7%, 8% and 6% in 2009, 2011 and 2014 respectively.
Transport became the largest energy consuming sector in 1988 and accounted for 40% of final consumption in 2016. Consumption by industry has more than halved since 1973.
In 1956 coal supplied 85%Yes of the UK’s energy. Growth in the use of petroleum for transport, and gas and nuclear for electricity meant it supplied less than 20% by 1996. A shift in generation from gas to coal in 2012 saw coal increase its share to the highest level since 1995, although it dropped in the following years.
In 2016 gas supplied the largest share - 39% of UK energy, followed by petroleum 35%. In contrast coal accounted for only 7%.
Generation from gas started to increase in the early 1990s; by 1999 it was more than 40%. It fell from 2004 to 2006 (due to falling UK production and higher prices), increased to a record 48% in 2010 before declining again after 2011 in response to higher prices.
Renewable generation made up 25% of UK electricity supply in 2016.
Commons Briefing papers SN02637
Author: Tom Rutherford