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Electricity Demand

Volume 14: debated on Thursday 3 December 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish in the Official Report the estimates made by his Department of total United Kingdom electricity demand for 1971 to 1980, the actual total demand for each of those years and his Department's estimates of demand for the years 1981 to 1990.

Actual electricity consumption by final consumers in the United Kingdom for the years 1971 to 1980 are shown below along with estimates that have been published by my Department for these years. It should be noted that projections have been published on an irregular basis.

Final Electricity Demand: Actual and Forecast (Twh)
Actual*Short Term ForecastsLonger Term ProjectionsYear(s) in which estimate made
1977220·39216–220‡January 1977
1978224·22227‡Januaiy 1978
1979235·22231‡January 1979
253**June 1976


* Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics. Various issues.

† Fuel Policy Work 1952–1972 by C. I. K. Forrester. Department of Energy June 1974.

* Energy Trends (issued as indicated). Figures derived from percentage growth rates.

** United Kingdom Energy supply and demand prospects. Published in 'National Energy Conference June 22 1976' Vol II Energy Paper No. 13. Quoted figure was adjusted to be made comparable.

†† Fuel Policy Cmnd. 3438 November 1967 (adjusted for comparability).

Projections of electricity demand depend crucially on the assumptions made about future temperatures, relative fuel price movements and developments in the economy. The uncertainties associated with these are large, and increase the further ahead one looks. It is noteworthy for instance that during the 1960's the severe recession of the 1970's was not foreseen.

Projections for the period up to 1990 were published in "Energy Projections 1979". On the assumptions then used electricity demand was projected to reach between 275 and 293 terawatt hours (9·4–10·0 billion therms) by 1990.

The Department keeps its energy projections under review and will publish revised projections.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish in the Official Report the estimate made by his Department of electricity demand in Scotland for the years 1971 to 1980, the actual total demand for each year and his Department's estimates of demand for Scotland for the years 1981 to 1990.

I have been asked to reply.The forecasting of electricity demand is the responsibility in the first instance of the Scottish electricity boards. The boards revise their forecasts annually and past forecasts therefore vary according to when they were made; the total maximum demand for past years can be obtained from the boards' annual reports.The boards are at present revising their load forecasts for the purpose of the annual review of their investment

and financing plans. For the forecasts underlying the boards' current capital investment programmes I refer the right hon. Member to the written answer that my hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. Wilson) on 27 February.—[Vol. 999, c.