Energy consumption in the UK is rapidly rising. It’s expected that between 2005 and 2030, energy consumption will increase by a staggering 50% due to the growing population and our ever-increasing demand for energy.
Flogas, commercial gas suppliers, take a look at the main energy sources that currently make up the market and exactly how reliable they are.
Fossil fuels are still the highest source of energy in the UK. Made up of natural gas and coal, it is a reliable form of energy that has supplied both domestic and commercial needs for many years.
In total, three of the UK’s major coal power stations closed their doors last year, leading to the generation of coal electricity plummeting from 22.6% to 9.2%. It is now at its lowest output in 80 years.
Natural gas can provide power whenever it is needed, making it a very reliable energy source. The presence of gas fired power stations was up 45% between 2015 and 2016. This could be down to the collapse of coal generated energy.
This kind of fuel emits 45% less carbon dioxide than coal and 30% less than oil, meaning that the impact that it has on the environment is not as extreme as alternate forms of fuel.
With it being a multi-use energy source, gas can provide energy for a variety of reasons. It has its own purpose domestically for cooking, heating and drying as well as being able to generate electric power, power vehicles, produce plastics and many more useful purposes.
Gas is available largely on a worldwide scale and is extracted by many countries for use through a drilling method.
Renewable energy is quickly growing as an important source of energy both in the UK and across the globe. Many countries are investing in solar panels and wind farms to generate electricity in new ways. However, many believe that these are less reliable sources of energy and we could never be 100% reliant on them.
Wind power energy primarily depends on how strong the wind is at the time of generation. In 2016, it was reported that windfarms across the UK generated more electricity that coal power plants and were able to produce more power than solar panels.
Solar power is a power source that is continuing to rise in popularity. The UK is currently leading in Europe for the growth of solar energy produced. In the entirety of Europe, solar provides 4% of all electricity demand. However, following the UKs government’s decision to cut incentives for householders to fit solar panel and for solar farms to be built, the amount of solar power installed in 2016 fell by around 50% compared to the year before.
Like wind power, solar energy is hugely dependent on how intense and available sunlight is at a set time. Because of this, it’s not a fully reliable source.
Nuclear power is another large source of energy in the UK. In June 2017, it was reported that it accounted for 23.2% of energy generated in the UK. This source of energy is also reliable as it can provide power whenever it is needed. It does not emit carbon dioxide but can be harmful if there are any accidents on site.
The information shows that natural gas is still the most reliable, accessible and resilient supply of energy around the globe, but, renewable energy is on the rise despite it proving problematic in some situations.