In Part II I’ll ask, “assuming that we can’t get production from renew-
ables to add up to our current consumption, what are the other options?”
104UK average energy consumption is 125 kWh per day per person. I took this number from the UNDP Human Devel-
opment Report, 2007.
The DTI (now known as DBERR) publishes a Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics every year. [ ]. In
2006, according to DUKES, total primary energy demand was 244 million tons of oil equivalent, which corresponds to
130 kWh per day per person.
I don’t know the reason for the small difference between the UNDP number and the DUKES number, but I can explain
why I chose the slightly lower number. As I mentioned on p27, DUKES uses the same energy-summing convention
as me, declaring one kWh of chemical energy to be equal to one kWh of electricity. But there’s one minor exception:
DUKES defines the “primary energy” produced in nuclear power stations to be the thermal energy, which in 2006
was 9 kWh/d/p; this was converted (with 38% efficiency) to 3.4 kWh/d/p of supplied electricity; in my accounts,
I’ve focused on the electricity produced by hydroelectricity, other renewables, and nuclear power; this small switch in
convention reduces the nuclear contribution by about 5 kWh/d/p.
–Losses in the electricity transmission network chuck away 1% of total national energy consumption. To put it another
way, the losses are 8% of the electricity generated. This 8% loss can be broken down: roughly 1.5% is lost in the
long-distance high-voltage system, and 6% in the local public supply system. Source: MacLeay et al. (2007).
105Figure 18.4. Data from UNDP Human Development Report, 2007. [ ]
108In the Middle Ages, the average person’s lifestyle consumed a power of 20 kWh per day. Source: Malanima (2006).
110“I’m more worried about the ugly powerlines coming ashore than I was about a Nazi invasion.” Source: [ ].
|Power per unit land
or water area
|Offshore wind||3 W/m2|
|Tidal pools||3 W/m2|
|Tidal stream||6 W/m2|
|Solar PV panels||5-20 W/m2|