The UK was the only country in Europe to reduce its electricity consumption in 2017, as power use either grew or stabilised across the other 28 members of the EU.
Britain’s need for power has been waning for more than a decade as industrial activity declined and businesses and households opted for more energy efficient lighting and appliances. Along with this slowing economy and mild weather are among possible reasons for the decline in our energy consumption.
This analysis was discovered by campaign group sandbag who found that the fall between 2016 and 2017 was the largest it has been in a number of years, marking a stark difference with the rest of the UK.
In official figures the UK’s power consumption fell almost 2% from 355 tWh (Terrawatt Hours) to 348 tWh, while it rose across the rest of the EU by 0.7% from 3,239 tWh to 3,262 tWh!
David Jones, carbon and power analyst at Sandbag has said of this achievement “This drop-in electricity consumption is noticeably large and puts the UK clearly on the road to lower electricity consumption”
Simon Evans, the policy editor at CarbonBrief also commented “This is one of the least-reported and most significant stories in the UK power sector. Since 2005, the UK has saved the equivalent of two-and-a-half Hinkley Point Cs [a nuclear power station], a trend that started several years before the financial crisis.”
However, this drop has been a long time coming as overall electricity demand has fallen by 9% in the past seven years alone, in stark contrast to Poland who gained a 9% rise in the same period! This EU increase is the third consecutively and leads us to believe the push for economic growth is winning out over the strict energy efficiency measures that are currently on place.
This is incredible progress for the UK in terms of sustainable development and with the continued investment in renewable technologies it gives reassurance that Great Britain are one of the top leaders in sustainability.