UK primary energy mix

UK's primary energy mix: case study for Types of energy/energy resources.

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  • Primary energy mix in the UK
    • Renewable
      • Use of renewable resources has increased.
        • This is due to the government aiming to move towards a more sustainable energy supply.
      • Despite the aim to move towards a more sustainable energy supply, it's still below the EU average of 6%.
      • Renewable resources account for around 4.5% of the UK's primary energy supply.
        • The government has set a target of 20% of the UK's electricity to be produced by renewable sources by 2020.
          • To reach this target the UK could need between 3000-5000 wind turbines or 20 biomass power stations.
      • Until 2000, HEP was the most important renewable resource in the UK.
        • This has been overtaken by biofuel.
        • Most HEP power stations are large scale and based in the Scottish highlands.
      • In 2006, biomass used for heat and electricity generation accounted for 82% of renewable energy sources in the UK.
      • Wind energy is the 3rd largest contributor to renewable energy in the UK
        • By 2007, there were 1769 turbines at 137 sites, producing enough electricity for 400,000 homes.
    • Non Renewable
      • Over 70% of the UK's energy supply is provided by oil and gas.
        • This makes sense because the UK has reserves of both.
      • Since the early 1970's, the UK's consumption of oil increased.
        • This was due to the discovery of the North Sea oil in 1969 and the growing demand for transport fuel.
      • Use of natural gas has increased by 85% since 1990.
      • Despite having large reserves, use of coal has fallen by 40% since 1990.
        • This was due to closure of mines and the move to using less polluting gas.
      • Over 95% of the UK's energy comes from non-renewable resources
        • 76% from fossil fuels and 18.5% from nuclear
      • The government is considering expanding the use of nuclear power.
        • This is due to the shrinking availability of fossil fuels.


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