Energy consumption is predicted to rise by 50% between 2005 and 2030 in the UK. Further demand for energy and a rising population are cited as the cause of this. So, how will we keep up with the demand?
Flogas, a leading UK energy supplier of competitive commercial gas prices, explores the various sources of energy to find which could be our backbone for years to come.
Worldwide, renewable energy is gaining traction as a source of energy. A number of countries are investing in such renewable technology as solar panels and wind farms. However, some think that renewable energy is less reliable due to the constraints upon them, so we would not be able to rely on them as we do coal.
Wind farms rely on the strength of wind to generate power. In 2016, wind farms were found to have generated more electric power than coal power plants, and more than solar panels too.
Solar power is becoming a popular choice worldwide too. 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. 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.
Solar power cannot be deemed fully reliable, however, as it depends upon the availability of sunlight.
Fossil fuels continue to be a top choice of energy in the UK. Comprised of coal and natural gas, fossil fuels are undoubtedly a reliable form of energy. It has supplied both homes and businesses for many years.
With the closure of three major coal power plants last year, coal energy generation dropped from 22.6% to 9.2%. Currently, coal is at its lowest output of energy in 80 years.
Natural gas, like coal, can produce power whenever it is needed, which cements it as a reliable energy source. Between 2015 and 2016, gas fired power stations increased in presence by 45%, possibly as a response to the fall of coal energy.
Compared to coal, natural gas emits 45% less carbon dioxide, and 30% less than oil. The environmental impact of natural gas is, therefore, far less than coal and oil.
Gas is also versatile – it can be used for cooking, heating, drying, electrical power, vehicle fuel, plastic production, and more.
Many countries extract gas around the world via a drilling method.
The UK uses nuclear power as a large source of energy too. 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.
It can be concluded then that, currently, natural gas is one of the leading energy sources in terms of reliability, accessibility, and resilience. Although renewable energy is on the rise, it is not always able to provide power and this can be problematic in some situations.