Interactive: What is the climate impact of eating meat and dairy? If we slice things up more simply, you can see that fossil fuels claimed a record low share of the UK energy mix in 2014, at 85% (grey area, below). You can change your cookie settings at any time. But today, more and more suppliers are moving toward renewable energies like wind, water and solar. This interactive map shows the share of electricity that comes from hydropower across the world. Solar, wind and other renewable technologies are growing quickly and will hopefully account for a large share of electricity production in the future – but the countries who have a low-carbon electricity mix today have relied heavily on hydroelectric and nuclear power in recent years. The UK power mix in 2014. Coronavirus: What could lifestyle changes mean for tackling climate change? Many solutions rely on us electrifying other parts of the energy system – such as shifting to electric vehicles. But it does expect coal and gas-fired power stations fitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS) - designed to siphon off CO2 and bury it underground - to start producing electricity in 2017. Coronavirus: What could lifestyle changes mean for tackling climate change? In 2019, almost two-thirds (63.3%) of global electricity came from fossil fuels. Generally, low-carbon sources (nuclear and renewables) account for a larger share in our electricity mix than our total energy mix. For coal, oil, gas and bioenergy, lighter shades indicate imports and darker shades domestic supplies. The drop in 2017 means coal-generated electricity fell to below a third of its 2015 level. Facebook and Twitter would not even exist. New! The British Government is taking steps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels by encouraging investment in renewable energy resources including solar and wind energy. Chart by Carbon Brief. This shows why tackling coal use is at the heart of the climate problem. Oil use has also fallen sharply, from more than 13 million tonnes in 1970 to just 780,000 tonnes last year. The progress in renewable electricity compared to 2016 was due to higher wind speeds, as well as a 14% increase in overall renewables capacity. As highlighted above, the falling prominence of coal in the UK’s primary energy supply is clearly visible in the shrinking width of the black lines. We use this information to make the website work as well as possible and improve government services. UK oil production now sits at around a third of the peak in 1999. Guest post: The oceans are absorbing more carbon than previously thought. The decline in coal-fired power generation occurred for a number of reasons, which Carbon Brief explored in more detail earlier this year. Coal supplied just 5% of UK energy last year, down from a 6% share in 2016, 20% share in 2012 and 47% share back in 1970. As we noted earlier, the relative contribution of fossil fuels and low-carbon electricity has been pretty stagnant for decades. Warm temperatures also filtered through to the power sector in 2014, again reducing demand. All energy suppliers in the UK, big and small, have an energy mix and the same can be said for most suppliers around the world. Such progress often makes the headlines. Of the 36.7% from low-carbon sources, renewables accounted for 26.3% and nuclear energy for 10.4%. The fact that transport and heating are harder to decarbonize, clean electricity will become ever-more important. This pushed up the proportion of electricity supplied by renewables to 30%, up from 25% in both 2016 and 2015, as the chart below shows. Carbon Brief has produced six charts to illustrate the changes occuring in the UK’s energy mix. The share in the total energy mix is much smaller. This interactive map shows the share of electricity that comes from coal across the world. Credit: Clynt Garnham Renewable Energy / Alamy Stock Photo. Sustainable development in the desert – The Great Green Wall. Let’s compare the breakdown of the global energy and electricity mix – these are shown in the chart. Factcheck: Is 3-5C of Arctic warming now ‘locked in’? Take the UK as an example: there we see a dramatic decline in the role of coal in its electricity mix. The GB electricity system is undergoing a period of significant change as we transition from a large-scale conventional fossil fuel dominated generation mix to intermittent renewable generation. If we look at the electricity mix of particular countries [you can do this using the “Change country” button on the bottom-left of the chart] we can see dramatic changes in over time. But there is another aspect to consider. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The UK once produced enough energy to be self-sufficient. But a range of other factors, such as falling gas prices and the continued growth of renewables, had arguably more important impacts on the UK power sector. We see this in the chart. If you've found the resources on this page useful please consider making a secure donation via PayPal to support the development of the site. What is the breakdown of our electricity supply in terms of fossil fuels, renewable energy and nuclear power? By clicking on a given country you can see how this share has changed over time. Electricity (or ‘power’) is just one component of total energy consumption. But wind generation has been growing rapidly in many countries across the world in recent years. In five years the United Kingdom moved from almost gas self-sufficient (see North Sea gas) to 40% gas import in 2010. But energy and electricity are not the same – despite the fact that many people use these terms interchangeably. All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated, National restrictions in England from 5 November, Energy and climate change: evidence and analysis, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Energy Trends: September 2020, special feature article - Competition in UK electricity markets, Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support, Transparency and freedom of information releases. By ticking the ‘Relative’ box in the bottom left corner of the stacked area chart you can switch to see each source’s share of the total. This is because the chart below refers to the amount of primary energy sources that go into generating electricity, whereas the figures above represent final consumption. But they account for less than half that figure (15.7%) of the global energy mix. Extreme weather in the UK – Beast from the East, Extreme Weather in the UK Summer Heatwave 2018. Chart by Carbon Brief. The author probably meant to speak only of ‘UK electricity’, which as my post here illustrates, is not the same thing. When we see headlines about our progress on decarbonization, the quoted figures often refer to electricity. The share from coal and gas individually can be found in the sections below. What factors affect population density and distribution? Don’t worry we won’t send you spam or share your email address with anyone. Experts: How do diets need to change to meet climate targets? New data from the Department for Energy Climate Change (DECC) shows energy use fell to its lowest level for at least half a century, while coal use fell to levels not seen since the 19th century and renewable power increased by a fifth. The site is self-funded and your support is really appreciated. Meanwhile, North Sea oil production decreased by 2% in 2017. COP25 video: Messages from climate marchers to politicians, Media reaction: Australia’s bushfires and climate change, Analysis: The UK politicians who talk the most about climate change, Media reaction: Amazon fires and climate change, State of the climate: 2020 set to be first or second warmest year on record, State of the climate: First quarter of 2020 is second warmest on record. So we may still be using the same amount of energy in 2030 as we were in 1970, but we'll be generating it in very different ways. Our World In Data is a project of the Global Change Data Lab, a registered charity in England and Wales (Charity Number 1186433). In some countries we see a dramatic decline in nuclear’s role as plants have been taken offline. 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The International Energy Agency, for example, projects that by 2030, global electricity demand for electric vehicles will increase five- to eleven-fold from levels in 2019. Mapped: How climate change affects extreme weather around the world. How can we increase the amount of food produced globally? What sources make up our electricity mix? Final use of energy across the UK economy also fell slightly last year, after an increase the year before. Gas is now the second largest source of electricity production globally. Carbon Brief has five charts that show what happened to the UK’s energy mix in 2014. Distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes, Effects of earthquakes and volcanoes on people and the environment, Reducing the impacts of earthquakes and volcanoes, Population and settlement – iGCSE Geography, The main causes of a change in population size, A country with a rate of high population growth – China, A country which is over-populated – Bangladesh, A country which is under-populated – Australia, A country with a low rate of population growth or decline – Japan. Fossil fuels: what share of electricity comes from fossil fuels? The net result was that gas replaced coal as the number one source of UK electricity last year (light and dark grey areas, below), while renewables passed nuclear to claim third place (purple and green areas). Webinar: Is climate change making wildfires worse? What is migration and why do people migrate? Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Jet stream: Is climate change causing more ‘blocking’ weather events? In other words, the UK will use less energy in 2030 than it did in 1970. The big movers were coal, with generation falling by 23%, and renewables, which grew by 21%. It’s a long way from here to the decarbonised power sector of 2030 and the near-zero carbon economy of mid-century the UK aspires to. In the short term, DECC believes natural gas and renewables - such as wind and solar - will take up the slack, with renewables taking an ever greater share over the next 20 years. Globally we see that coal, followed by gas, is the largest source of electricity production. Published under a CC license. We will need to rely on low-carbon electricity, and lots of it. By 2030, it expects renewables to be by far the biggest source of energy used in electricity generation, making up about 40% of the overall mix. How is a cold environment interdependent? How has hot desert vegetation adapted to the climate? How has urbanisation helped Nigeria to develop?