Energy consumption is rising in the UK, between 2005 and 2030, energy consumption is set to increase by 50%. This is mainly down to the growing population and our increased demand for energy.
Together with Flogas, suppliers of commercial gas, we take a look at what energy sources make up the market and how reliable they are.
Fossil fuels continue to be one of our highest energy sources 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.
Three major coal power stations closed last year which led to coal electricity generation plummeting from 22.6% to 9.2%. It is now at its lowest output in 80 years.
Natural gas is a reliable energy source, meaning it can provide power whenever it is needed. 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.
In terms of emissions, natural gas emits 45% less carbon dioxide than coal and 30% less than oil. This shows that the impact it has on the environment is not as extreme as alternate forms of fuel.
Gas is a multi-use energy source and 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 the energy source that is most available on a worldwide scale and is extracted by many countries for use through a drilling method.
Green energy is a growing source of energy in the UK and worldwide. Many countries are investing in green energy technology such as solar panels and wind farms to generate electricity in new ways. Despite critics arguing these renewable forms of energy are less reliable sources and suggesting we could never be 100% reliant on them, the pace at which green energy technology is moving means alternative forms of energy such as wind and solar can be harnessed more effectively. Ultimately, it means the reliability issue becomes a moot point.
The energy powered from wind farms depends on the strength of the wind at the time of generation. In 2016, it was reported that wind farms across the UK generated more electricity that coal power plants and were able to produce more power than solar panels.
Worldwide, solar power is becoming an increasingly prominent power source. Currently, the UK is leading in Europe with the growth of solar energy produced. In the entirety of Europe, solar provides 4% of all electricity demand.
Other Forms Of Energy
Nuclear power is a large energy source in the UK too. In June 2017, it was reported that it accounted for 23.2% of energy generated in the UK. This source of energy is considered reliable as it can provide power whenever it is needed. It does not emit carbon dioxide but management of nuclear is a major concern which rather dilutes its effectiveness as “clean” energy source.
With increasing demand it is vital the UK has the infrastructure to support the country’s energy needs. Currently, the evidence points to natural gas being the most reliable, accessible and resilient source of energy but as we move forward towards a greener future, incorporation of renewable energy is necessary as it increasingly contributes to the UK’s energy needs.