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Last Updated: Friday, 27 February, 2004, 12:34 GMT
UK energy: Facts behind the fiction
All the drama-documentaries in the IF series are based on rigorous journalism and research.

Here's just a few facts about the UK's power supply and consumption.

  • UK domestic energy consumption increased by 32% between 1970 and 2001 and by 19% between 1990 and 2001 alone.

  • Most household energy is used for heating rooms, followed by lighting and cooking appliances.
    (Source: DTI Energy Consumption in the UK, July 2002)

  • In 1970, 5.6m UK homes were centrally heated, by 2000; 21.7m UK homes were centrally heated.
    (Source: DTI Energy Consumption in the UK, July 2002)

  • Between 1970 and 2001, energy used for lighting and appliances rose by 157% but energy used for cooking fell by 16%.
    (Source: DTI Energy Consumption in the UK, July 2002)

  • 59% of UK households own two or more television sets.
    (Source: DTI Energy Consumption in the UK, July 2002)

  • Nuclear power stations provided 23% of the UK's electricity in 2003. By 2010, a third of these will have reached the end of their operating lives and will be closed, and nuclear power will account for only 16% of the UK's electricity.
    (Source: DTI Dukes Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) 2003, Nuclear Industry Association)

  • 38% of the UK's energy electricity is generated using natural gas as fuel.

  • Many predict that North Sea gas reserves will be largely depleted by 2010/2011, depending on demand and the price of electricity.

  • Industrial energy consumption in the UK fell by 44% between 1970 and 2001 and by 9% between 1990 and 2001.
    (Source: DTI Energy Consumption in the UK, July 2002)

  • Renewable energy provides 3% of the UK's electricity now but government targets state it should provide 10% by 2010 and 20% by 2020.
    (Source: DTI DUKES 2003)

  • 10 power stations are earmarked for closure during the next decade but only two new stations are now currently under construction. This will result in a net loss of generating capacity of approximately 1.3 GW.
    (Source: National Grid Seven Year Statement, 2003)

  • Cautious estimates say 60% of electricity generation in 2010 will be fuelled by natural gas of which 49% will be imported.



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