Where Does My Energy Supply Come From?
Where the UK Gets Its Energy
In the UK, energy is both generated domestically and imported from abroad. Energy generally comes into people’s homes as gas and electricity. Those provide heating and power for our homes.
The UK does have its own fuel reserves. However, these reserves have changed over time and the percentage of gas sourced domestically has decreased. The UK therefore imports gas – mostly from Norway, but also from Russia. Gas also comes into the country from Belgium and the Netherlands under the English Channel, and arrives in a liquid state from Qatar.
Electricity is also generated locally and imported through the Interconnectors that link the UK’s national grid to mainland Europe. Historically, most of the UK’s electricity was produced using coal. However, now coal is only one of the methods used to generate electricity. Nuclear, natural gas and, increasingly renewable sources now make up a much higher proportion of the fuel mix.
From the 01/04/18 to 31/03/19 the fuel mix for the UK overall was:
- Coal – 5.2%
- Natural Gas – 41.4%
- Nuclear – 18.7%
- Renewables – 32.8%
- Other fuels – 1.9%
However, the exact mix of fuels used to deliver your own energy will depend on which supplier you choose. It will obviously also depend on your tariff, and whether or not you have opted for a green energy or renewable energy deal.
You should be able to find out more about the fuel mix for your supplier by visiting their website, or by making an enquiry. How a supplier accesses and buys your energy is a rather more complicated business.
What Are the Sources of Gas and Electricity in the UK?
Coal is now far less dominant in our fuel mix, and is gradually diminishing. It is still used to generate electricity. But the fact that it is one of the world’s largest contributors to CO2 emissions means that we are moving away from it towards less polluting fuel sources.
- Natural Gas
Natural gas is fairly abundant and relatively inexpensive as a fuel source, and makes up a high proportion of the UK fuel mix. Unfortunately, fracking – the process of drawing it out of the ground – is a hugely controversial practice. A moratorium has been placed to prevent fracking in England (though there are concerns it could restart if the Tory Party win the general election). In Scotland, the ban has been extended to prevent the harmful practice.
Nuclear power plants also generate a proportion of the electricity in the UK. Nuclear power plants are a relatively small producer of CO2 and therefore are often included in ‘green energy’ fuel mixes. However, nuclear power generation is a dangerous process, and environmentalists raise significant issues over the waste it generates.
- Renewable Energy
Renewable energy sources are forming an increasing percentage of the UK’s electricity generation. More and more people are switching to renewable energy deals, as awareness grows about the climate emergency we face.
Renewable power sources used in the UK are:
- Biomass/ Bio Energy
How Do I Choose More Renewable Energy Sources To Power My Home?
Consumers who want to make ethical and eco-friendly decisions can choose to opt for a plan or tariff that includes a higher percentage of renewable energy in their mix. You can compare the different fuel mixes on offer to find out which supplier offers the greenest option.
It is important to note that just because a plan is greener, that does not necessarily mean that it will be more expensive. There are now a range of enticing and affordable green energy options on the market.
There are companies that offer 100% renewable electricity plans that are often cheaper than the standard energy deals from the big six energy suppliers. These companies include:
- Bristol Energy
- iSupply Energy
If you want a greener fuel mix in your home, and want to do the right thing for people and planet, then one of these deals could be a great way to go. Renewables are our future, and if we do not make the changes we need to make as a nation and as individuals, the future could look very bleak.
You can also consider becoming greener by generating your own power. If you generate your own energy – for example, with solar panels on your roof, you may qualify for feed-in tariffs. This means that an energy supplier will pay you for the energy you generate. So though there is a large initial expense, the investment may be worthwhile financially, as well as environmentally speaking. (Note, however, that since 2016, the feed in tariff is now much lower than it was before.)
No matter where your energy comes from, you can always consider switching to get a better deal. Whether you want to save money on your energy bills, or pay more careful attention to where your energy comes from and get a better deal, Money Pug can help you find the solution. Our comparison site makes it easier than ever for you to find the supplier and plan that are right for you.
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