UK coal production hit record low in 2016

UK coal production hit record low in 2016

Coal production fell by a massive 51% last year, hitting record lows.

That’s according to a new set of provisional statistics released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The report suggests the fall in coal output is due to the closure of all large deep mines and remaining mines producing less coal as they near the end of operation. In the last five years coal output has declined by 77%.

It also shows oil and gas production were up 4.8% and 3.6% respectively on the year before.

Renewable production rose by 2.3% as bioenergy output increased, with nuclear output trailing at 2% growth.

These changes meant total primary energy production rose by 1.4% to 126.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent. This increase, the second since 1999, was largely due to rises in oil and gas output.

The use of gas increased sharply up 12% to help offset coal consumption halving.

Consumption of bioenergy, nuclear and petroleum all rose with a small fall in the usage of wind, solar and hydropower.

Primary consumption fell by 1.1%, largely due to the change in electricity generation from coal to gas.

As gas is a significantly more efficient fuel than coal, less gas was needed to produce the same amount of electricity. The US is expected to produce more coal this year than in 2016.