A rise in renewable energy, combined with low-carbon electricity from nuclear reactors, made up almost 53% of generation in 2018, the government’s annual review of energy statistics revealed.
Nuclear accounted for 19.5% of generation and made up the largest component of low-carbon production at 39%.
However, the nuclear share of total generation was 7% lower than in 2017 due to outages at the Hunterston B and Dungeness B nuclear stations towards the end of 2018.
Hunterston B-1 was taken offline after EDF Energy found cracks in graphite bricks in the reactor core. Dungeness B was taken offline following the discovery of corrosion in seismic restraints, pipework and storage vessels associated with several safety systems.
Nuclear capacity in 2018 was broadly the same as in 2017, at 9.3 GW from the country’s fleet of 15 commercial reactor units.
Apart from nuclear, low-carbon sources include wind, hydro, solar photovoltaics and biofuels.
Fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy supply, but now account for 79%, a record low level. Generation from coal fell by 25%, while gas fell by 3.8%.
Generation from wind, hydro and solar photovoltaics rose by 12% to a record high level, due to increased wind and solar capacity and accounted for a record 22.6% of generation. Overall renewables’ share of generation was at a record high of 33% in 2018.