Opinion

The Most Reliable Energy Sources

Posted by stephen avv

28-Sep-2017

reconomy.com/


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

Fossil fuels remain to be one 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.

Coal

Three major coal power stations closed last year which lead to coal electricity generation plummeting from 22.6% to 9.2%. Now at its lowest output in 80 years

Natural gas

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 that 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.

Renewable

Renewable energy is a growing source of energy in the UK and worldwide. 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

The energy powered from wind farms depends on the strength of the wind 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

Worldwide, solar power is becoming an increasingly used 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. 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.

Similar to wind power, solar energy depends on the intensity and availability of sunlight and is not a fully reliable source.

Nuclear

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 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.

From the information gathered, it appears that natural gas is the most reliable, accessible and resilient supply of energy around the globe. Although renewable energy is on the rise, it is not always able to provide power and this can be problematic in some situations.

https://www.gurufocus.com/news/99381/the-worlds-most-reliable-energy-source

https://www.edfenergy.com/future-energy/challenges/reliability

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/07/solar-power-growth-worldwide-us-china-uk-europe

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/06/07/uk-sets-new-renewable-energy-record-wind-solar-surge/

http://www.brighthubengineering.com/power-plants/114797-pros-and-cons-of-natural-gas-use/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/aqa_pre_2011/energy/mainselectricityrev7.shtml



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