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Consumption

Volume 892: debated on Monday 12 May 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his estimate of the present annual increase in the United Kingdom consumption of energy expressed as millions of tons of coal-equivalent; and what proportion is met by coal, petroleum fuels, nuclear power and other sources of energy.

The present annual increase in the United Kingdom consumption of primary energy, based on a comparison of data for the first two months of this year—the latest available—with the same two months of last year, is 27 million tons of coal equivalent (mtce). This increase is estimated to be made up of an increase of 33 million tons of coal, a decrease of 8 mtce of petroleum, an increase of 3 mtce of natural gas and a decrease of 1 mtce of nuclear and hydro-electricity.

These figures, although arithmetically correct, are somewhat misleading. The months of January and February 1974 were affected by the three-day week and disruption of oil supplies. More meaningful figures can be obtained by comparing January and February 1975 with the corresponding months of 1973. On this basis primary energy consumption is estimated to have decreased by 21 mtce. The decrease is estimated to be made up of a decrease of 12 million tons of coal, a decrease of 21 mtce of petroleum, an increase of 11 mtce of natural gas and an increase of 1 mtce of nuclear and hydro-electricity.