38% came from European pipelines, 35% of which was from Russia.
The remaining 17% was imported in liquefied form on tankers, mainly from Qatar.
Net electricity imports – mostly nuclear – were 17.5 TWh, comprising 9.7 TWh from France, 7.3 TWh from the Netherlands, and 0.5 TWh net was exported to Ireland. A further 2000 MW connection to Normandy was approved in September 2016 to enable the import of French nuclear power from 2022.
In 2015 the France link ran at 81% capacity and the Netherlands one at 91%.
The power supply implication of the EU Renewable Energy Directive mandating 15% of all energy, is that 30% of UK electricity should come from renewables by 2020.
One manifestation of the focus on renewables was the conversion of one 645 MWe unit of the Drax coal-fired power plant to burn biomass, mainly imported wood pellets, for a guaranteed power price of £105/MWh.
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However, in April 2014 the second unit converted to biomass was denied similar investment contract support, leaving it to recoup costs from Renewables Obligation Certificates (at 0.9 ROC/MWh; the average ROC price in May 2014 was about £41.70) plus the wholesale power price – about £50/MWh. However, the government offered an investment contract with price guarantee for the third Drax unit (see also UK section in the Energy Subsidies information paper).
Each Drax unit burning biomass uses about 4 million tonnes of imported wood pellets per year.
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