Where Does Our Electricity Come From?

Electricity is something we often take for granted. Most people in the UK have grown up in an era when electricity has been readily available to everyone and has found countless applications. Electricity is likely to remain a huge part of our lives in the future and most industries rely on it to get by.

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Of course, there are questions about where we will get our energy in the future given the controversy surrounding certain methods of generating energy and the scarcity of fossil fuels. It’s important for people to have an understanding of where the UK’s electricity comes from currently as a backdrop to questions about the future of energy in this country.

So how is our electricity generated? Well, it currently comes from the following sources.

Nuclear energy
Up to date figures aren’t available concerning nuclear power in the UK, but in 2005 nuclear actually accounted for just over 20% of electricity in the country. Nuclear energy is controversial with plenty of admirers and detractors and it is an area that the government has looked at developing in recent years.

It may surprise many to learn that oil is only responsible for about 1.5% of the energy we use in the UK. Oil always seems to be at the centre of global debates but in the UK we don’t rely on it especially heavily. The fact that oil is becoming scarcer and the fact that we have to rely on imports makes oil a less attractive option for generating energy than others.

We do however rely quite heavily on gas. More than 38% of electricity generated here comes from gas. The drawback here is that North Sea gas is running out and this means that we have to important more gas from abroad and this is not always a very secure way of generating electricity.

Hydro energy
Hydro energy (energy from running water) is a fantastic option to have. Once technology has been installed the energy produced is pretty much entirely emission free. The trouble is that a country’s geography determines how much hydro energy it can produce. As a result, it can manage only 1.25% of the UK’s entire programme.

34% of the UK’s electricity comes from coal which may seem like quite a high figure given how much the British coal industry has been scaled back. This can be explained by the fact that much of the coal we process is imported from other countries.

Wind energy
Wind energy is pretty controversial because of the impact turbines have on the environment but for all the debate, the 2005 figures show that it accounts for less than 1% of our electricity. It is however an area the government is looking at for expansion.

Author Bio: Annie Pryce advocates a responsible attitude to electricity generation and she believes that high quality cable accessories like those designed by REPL.com are essential when it comes to reducing wastage in delivery.

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Erin Emanuel