Human Geography - Sustainable Energy

Renewables

Sustainable Energy in the UK: Facts and Figures

When carbon-based fuels are burnt (i.e. to provide energy for heat, power, and transportation) the carbon they contain combines with oxygen from the air to form carbon dioxide.

By using energy more efficiently we can help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Increasing the energy efficiency of carbon-based fuels won't eliminate the problem of carbon dioxide emissions.

To eliminate the problem altogether, and achieve a sustainable energy future, renewable energy sources need to be used such as:

  • Wind
  • Sun
  • Rivers
  • Oceans

Energy Use

  • The average energy consumption per person in the UK in 1991 was about 3.6 kW (kilowatts)
    In developing countries each person uses on average 1KW
  • About 18% of all energy consumed in the UK in 2000 was for the purposes of electricity generation
  • Coal burnt in power stations accounts for the largest amount of electricity consumed in the UK Transport accounts for the largest end usage for energy produced in the UK
  • The United Kingdom accounted for 2.5% of total world energy consumption in 2000
  • Carbon emissions from the UK have actually reduced by 12% since 1990 due principally to the switch from coal to gas

What is Renewable Energy?

  • Renewable energy is energy sources that are not used up or depleted by over-consumption
  • Renewable energy sources are naturally replenished
  • They can either be managed so that they last forever, or their supply is so enormous that it will never be meaningfully depleted by humans

Use of renewable energy

  • Large-scale hydroelectric power contributes about 20% of the world's energy needs
  • In the UK, energy from renewable energy sources currently contributes only 3% to the total electricity consumed (about half of this comes from hydroelectric power, with about 20% from landfill gas and 10% from wind power)
  • This contribution is set to increase to 10% total energy production from renewables as part of UK energy policy

Suzanne Hay

Address: SRUC Aberdeen Campus, Craibstone Estate, Bucksburn, Aberdeen AB21 9YA

Telephone: 07767648494

E-mail: suzanne.hay@sruc.ac.uk

Rate this page

Please provide us with your feedback for this page.

We welcome all comments and suggestions.