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Published on April 4th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

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UK Emissions Dropped 7% in 2011

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April 4th, 2012 by Zachary Shahan
 
 
uk wind power onshore

It was recently announced that UK greenhouse gas emissions dropped 7% in 2011. “In 2011, UK emissions of the basket of six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol were provisionally estimated to be 549.3 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent,” the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change noted. “This was 7.0 per cent lower than the 2010 figure of 590.4 million tonnes.”

This was partly due to reduced energy demand (especially from warmer weather) and partly from increased low-carbon electricity generation.

uk offshore wind power

Here are some more statistics from the DECC:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main greenhouse gas, accounting for about 84 per cent of total UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2010, the latest year for which final results are available. In 2011, UK net emissions of carbon dioxide were provisionally estimated to be 456.3 million tonnes (Mt). This was 8.0 per cent lower than the 2010 figure of 495.8 Mt.
  • Between 2010 and 2011, there were decreases in CO2 emissions from most of the main sectors. The provisional estimates show decreases in emissions of 22.0 per cent (19.1 Mt) from the residential sector, 6.1 per cent (11.8 Mt) from the energy supply sector, and 8.0 per cent (6.0 Mt) from the business sector. Emissions from the transport sector were down by 1.4 per cent (1.7 Mt) since 2010. All these sectoral breakdowns are based on the source of the emissions, as opposed to where the end-user activity occurred. Emissions related to electricity generation are therefore attributed to power stations, the source of these emissions, rather than homes and businesses where electricity is used.

The DECC notes that nuclear electricity generation increased in 2011, and renewable energy did as well, up from 7.5% of electricity production in 2010 to 9.5% in 2011, a 35% increase. In total, 34.8 terrawatt Hours (TWh) of electricity was produced from renewables in 2011. Wind increased 54.5%, offshore wind increased 68%, and hydro increased 58%.

Sources: UK DECC & Business Green
Images: UK onshore wind turbines courtesy shutterstock & offshore wind turbines courtesy Wessex Archaeology/flickr

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • lukealization

    Good to see the continued upswing of renewable energy and environmentally-friendly vehicles.

    2012 should bring even more emission drops for the UK, as a number of large offshore wind projects come online, most notably, the 630MW London Array.

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      right, i know they’re struggling with the current govt, but they’re doing a lot better than most.

  • London

    Probably not connected, but I’ve been saying for months the air seems clearer (London).

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Very well could be, actually!

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