Carbon Brief have produced a fascinating map illustrating the UK’s generated electricity sites. With a majority of the UK’s electricity being generated from coal, nuclear and gas, these methods are dwindling to the renewable revolution. Here’s a written breakdown of the concentrations of electricity generation across the UK.
The interactive map shows the sparsity of both renewable and non-renewable energies generated across the UK, with certain areas more favourable to a particular renewable due to location and climate. Solar concentrates the south of England where insolation rates are high and hydroelectricity is largely limited to Scotland and Wales where rainfall and mountains are plentiful, and numerous valleys are capable of hosting dams and reservoirs to act as batteries to hydroelectric generation. Wind farms are skewed across the country, mainly along coastlines and higher grounds to gather reliable wind speeds with a growing number of offshore wind farms in shallower areas.
Nuclear, coal and gas sites are largely along the coast of the UK, along with waste, biomass and oil being evenly distributed, only nuclear acquiring a need for constant access to cooling waters.
The report also shows an electricity generation timeline, displaying how the electricity generation builds change over time. The use of coal is an age-old method and the UK’s newest coal site was built in 1986, an out-dated and high carbon price but no new coal builds will be constructed without carbon capture and legislation. Although coal usage fell by one-quarter last year, we still heavily rely on coal generation but it is positive to see renewable constructions are steadily inclining alongside the declination of non-renewable energies.
All the information for this blog and to explore the map and data sets yourself can be found here.
Carbon Brief also created an equivalent map for the power sources in Germany, an interesting comparison to that of the UK. See this map here.