Figures from the Department of Trade and Industry’s Energy Report show a continuing growth of gas-fired power generation – above a fifth of the total in 1996, while nuclear sources reached record levels. Coal’s market share continues to decline, leading to concern about its future for power generation.
Electricity prices to industrial users have fallen since 1993 and are now lower in real terms than in 1970 when records began. Last year’s average price was 14.5% lower than at privatisation in 1990.
European figures for different sized industrial users show that prices for small users (consuming less than 160,000kWh annually) were the fourth lowest within the European Union; for moderate (2,000,000kWh) and medium large users (24,000,000kWh) the UK was third lowest.
Office of National Statistics figures show engineering turnover up 0.8% in the three months to July, with export turnover up 3.4%. Total machine tools, machinery and equipment and electrical and optical equipment were also up on the quarter. But for machine tools a rise in home turnover offset a decrease in exports.