Electricity Consumption- A Comparative Analysis of Canada and the UK

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Electricity Consumption- A Comparative Analysis of Canada and the UK

Introduction

The essay has aimed to compare the current day trends and situation in using electrical energy of two different countries. The chosen countries for this essay are the United Kingdom and Canada. Moreover, the essay discusses how the future electricity demand is expected two develop in the two countries and how the increasing need can be met given the environmental and economic context.

Electricity Consumption

According to Sanquist et al. (2012), electricity consumption represents the total amount of energy consumed by a company over a specific period and is expressed in watts or kilowatts. In 2020, the total electricity consumption for the UK was 287.58 terawatt-hours; it was the lowest electric consumption reported in the country since 2005 (statista.com, 2021). In contrast, Canada consumed 635.6 megawatt-hours of electricity in 2020 (cer-rec.gc.ca, 2021). The peak demand for Electric power in the UK was 345,581gigawatt-hours in 2019 (reuters.com, 2021). Comparatively, the peak demand for electric power was recorded as 648 terawatt-hours in 2018 (nrcan.gc.ca, 2021). Wind farms, biomass, hydro plants, and solar panels in the UK produced more energy than power stations fueled by gas, oil, and coal, as revealed by the brief carbon analysis (carbonbrief.org, 2021). While for Canada, 60% of electricity was produced by Hydraulic plants, 15% by nuclear, 7% by coal, 7% by gas/oil/others, and 11% by non-hydro renewables (nrcan.gc.ca, 2021). 

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Energy analysts believe that total electric consumption has decreased in the UK for the last decade despite the frequent increase in the population (Harries et al., 2013). According to Kelly and Knottenbelt (2015), this decline is attributable to the use of efficient technology decrease in heavy manufacturing, several measures taken by the government of the UK, consumer agencies and utility companies. The reduction is also attributable to the fact that a large proportion of the population uses LEDs instead of incandescent bulbs. In comparison, the electricity consumption of Canada is expected to increase by 1% with every passing year. A to Makonin et al. (2016), this increase in electrical consumption is due to more use of natural gas for refining and extraction of petroleum, increased population, and use of high-end technology for several purposes.

For the UK, the decreased electricity consumption can have an astounding effect on the environment by lowering the emission of Green House Gases (GHG) and other pollutants and conserving resources such as water (Pinson, & Madsen, 2014). Moreover, the UK’s electric efficiency can lower utility bills, stabilise electricity volatility and prices, and create jobs for the youth. However, Canada must develop strategies to meet the electricity needs of the population. One such measure is energy production by using renewable fuels, establishing more nuclear plants, and using geothermal heat pumps or wind turbines (Aghaei, & Alizadeh, 2013).  While, some of the challenges faced by the electricity sector of Canada include inefficiencies due to inconsistencies, incoherence, redundancies, lack of financial and human resources, and the increased price of the raw materials.

Conclusion

To conclude, electricity consumption represents the total amount of energy consumed by a company over a specific period and is expressed in watts or kilowatts. For example, the electricity consumption of the UK and Canada in 2020 was 287.58 terawatt-hours and 635.6 megawatt-hours, respectively.

 

References

2021. [online] Available at: <https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-energy-idUSKBN2BU3K2#:~:text=Peak%20electricity%20demand%20is%20expected,50%20GW%20in%20winter%20months.> [Accessed 16 December 2021].

Aghaei, J. and Alizadeh, M.I., 2013. Demand response in smart electricity grids equipped with renewable energy sources: A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 18, pp.64-72.

Carbon Brief. 2021. Analysis: UK renewables generate more electricity than fossil fuels for first time - Carbon Brief. [online] Available at: https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-uk-renewables-generate-more-electricity-than-fossil-fuels-for-first-time> [Accessed 16 December 2021].

Cer-rec.gc.ca. 2021. CER – Canada’s Energy Future 2020 - Results. [online] Available at: https://www.cer-rec.gc.ca/en/data-analysis/canada-energy-future/2020/results/index.html [Accessed 16 December 2021].

Harries, T., Rettie, R., Studley, M., Burchell, K. and Chambers, S., 2013. Is social norms marketing effective? A case study in domestic electricity consumption. European Journal of Marketing.

Jenkins, N., Liyanage, K., Wu, J. and Yokoyama, A., 2012. Smart Grid. Wiley..

Kelly, J. and Knottenbelt, W., 2015. The UK-DALE dataset, domestic appliance-level electricity demand and whole-house demand from five UK homes. Scientific data, 2(1), pp.1-14.

Makonin, S., Ellert, B., Bajić, I.V. and Popowich, F., 2016. Electricity, water, and natural gas consumption of a residential house in Canada from 2012 to 2014. Scientific data, 3(1), pp.1-12.

Nrcan.gc.ca. 2021. Electricity facts. [online] Available at: https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/science-and-data/data-and-analysis/energy-data-and-analysis/energy-facts/electricity-facts/20068 [Accessed 16 December 2021].

Pinson, P. and Madsen, H., 2014. Benefits and challenges of electrical demand response: A critical review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 39, pp.686-699.

Sanquist, T.F., Orr, H., Shui, B. and Bittner, A.C., 2012. Lifestyle factors in US residential electricity consumption. Energy Policy, 42, pp.354-364.

Statista. 2021. Electricity consumption in the UK 2020 | Statista. [online] Available at <https://www.statista.com/statistics/322874/electricity-consumption-from-all-electricity-suppliers-in-the-united-kingdom/#:~:text=Consumption%20of%20electricity%20in%20the,287.58%20terawatt%20hours%20in%202020.> [Accessed 16 December 2021].


Statista. 2021. Electricity consumption in the UK 2020 | Statista. [online] Available at: <https://www.statista.com/statistics/322874/electricity-consumption-from-all-electricity-suppliers-in-the-united-kingdom/#:~:text=Consumption%20of%20electricity%20in%20the,287.58%20terawatt%20hours%20in%202020.> [Accessed 16 December 2021].


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