UK’s emissions from electricity ‘rose by more than a fifth last year in 2021’

Gas drove up UK power emissions for first time in a decade, according to the International Energy Agency

Big Zero Report 2023

Carbon dioxide emissions from the UK’s electricity sector soared by more than 20% last year.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) attributes this change to the increasing electricity demand, up 5%, and the ‘exceptionally low” wind speeds that resulted in a 14% drop in total renewable energy generation.

In its ‘Electricity Market’ report, the IEA notes that these factors led to a 17% increase in gas-fired electricity supply.

The authors of the report suggest that was the first increase in electricity-associated emissions since 2012 and follows a decline in emissions of more than 70% since 2000.

In response to the IEA’s report, Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said: “The UK’s reliance on expensive imported gas means higher emissions, higher bills and constant threats to our energy security.

“The only way to protect our energy security and guarantee an affordable and sustainable system is to invest in new nuclear capacity in both large and small-scale projects.”

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