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Electricity in United Kingdom in 2023

Global Ranking: #39
57.3% #60 Low-carbon electricity
503.55 watts #75 Generation / person
241.35 gCO2eq/kWh #53 Carbon Intensity

In 2023, the United Kingdom's electricity consumption showed a promising trend towards low-carbon energy sources. More than half of the electricity, specifically 57.3%, was generated from low-carbon sources such as nuclear, wind, and solar among others. Nuclear energy contributed 12.48%, wind energy made up 27.77% of the total, while solar, while lower at 4.58%, still made a contribution. Fossil fuels, meanwhile, accounted for almost 35% of the electricity consumption, with gas making up the bulk of this at 31.39%. Coal, in contrast, contributed a marginal 1.27%, showing the country's decreasing reliance on this outdated source of energy. Biofuels made up just shy of 10% and the rest was accounted for by net imports.


Based on these figures, the United Kingdom could significantly increase its low-carbon electricity generation by expanding its nuclear and wind energy sectors, which already contribute hugely to the total. Taking inspiration from France where nuclear power comprises 66% of their electricity generation could prove advantageous. Likewise, emulate Denmark, where wind energy accounts for 59% of electric power. Both nations demonstrate the potential for nuclear and wind energy to play a large role in a diversified, clean energy mix. Through increased investment in these technologies, coupled with accelerating decommissioning of fossil fuel power plants, the UK could further shift its electricity generation towards low-carbon sources.


The history of low-carbon electricity in the UK shows a positive trend in the late 20th century, with nuclear energy contributions rising steadily from 10 TWh in 1984 to 12.5 TWh in 1993. However, the turn of the 21st century saw a significant drawback as nuclear generation suffered some steep declines, with a drop of 10.1 TWh in 2000, compounded by further losses in 2004, 2007, and 2008. However, nuclear energy saw a resurgent growth in 2009 with an increase of 16.6 TWh. Meanwhile, wind energy started gaining relevance from 2013 onwards, with consistent boosts in generation almost every year. Regardless of the setbacks in the nuclear industry, these advances highlight the UK's dedication and ongoing commitment to transitioning towards low-carbon electricity generation.

Electricity Imports and Exports

Balance of Trade

Data Sources

For the year 1980 the data sources are EIA and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1981 to 1983 the data source is EIA.
For the year 1984 the data source is World Bank.
For the year 1985 the data source is Energy Institute.
For the years 1986 to 1989 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 to 2019 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2020 to 2021 the data source is Ember.
For the year 2022 the data sources are Energy Institute and Ember (imports/exports).
For the year 2023 the data source is IEA.
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