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Detailing the most reliable energy sources in the UK

7th December 2017 Print

Between 2005 and 2030, it has been predicted that energy consumption will rise by 50 per cent. This significant increase is set to be due to the nation’s growing population and their increased demand for energy.

Flogas, a commercial gas supplier, aims to help you understand which energy sources will be making up the UK’s growing energy market and also just how reliable each one is with the following guide:

Fossil fuel energy sources used in the UK

Fossil fuels still hold the feat as being the most used energy source type across the UK. Made up of coal and natural gas, it is a reliable form of energy that has supplied both domestic and commercial needs for many years.


While fossil fuels remain popular, the coal generated energy market appears to be struggling. This point is underlined by the fact that three major coal power stations closed last year, leading to coal electricity generation plummeting from 22.6 per cent to 9.2 per cent. It is also at its lowest output in 80 years.

Natural gas

Where coal is struggling, natural gas appears to be flourishing. The presence of gas fired power stations was up 45 per cent between 2015 and 2016. This could be down to the collapse of coal generated energy.

Natural gas instantly captures attention by being a reliable energy source that can provide power wherever it is needed. It also stands out for emitting 45 per cent less carbon dioxide than coal, as well as 30 per cent less CO2 than oil. This shows that the impact it has on the environment is not as extreme as alternate forms of fuel.

There are a variety of tasks which can be completed using natural gas as well. 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. 

It must also be mentioned that gas is currently the most available energy source across the globe, with it being extracted by many countries for use through a drilling method.

Renewable energy sources used in the UK

Renewable energy is continuing to gather momentum both across 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 per cent reliant on them.

Solar power

When it comes to the increase in the amount of solar energy being produced, the UK is certainly leading the way across all European nations. In the entirety of Europe, solar provides four per cent of all electricity demand. However, following the UK government’s decision to cut incentives for householders to fit solar panels and for solar farms to be built, the amount of solar power installed in 2016 fell by around 50 per cent compared to the year before.

It is difficult to call solar energy a fully reliable energy source though, due to it relying on both the availability and intensity of sunlight.

Wind power

Along similar lines to solar power needing sunlight, wind farms are reliant on the strength of the wind to determine just how much power will be generated from the facility at any one time. In 2016 though, it was reported that windfarms across the UK generated more electricity than coal power plants and were able to produce more power than solar panels.

How the UK is using nuclear power as an energy source

Nuclear power is now another large energy source for the UK. In June 2017, it was reported that it accounted for 23.2 per cent 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. 

Both across the UK and globally, the research above certainly suggests that natural gas is the most accessible, resilient and reliable supply of energy today. Although renewable energy is on the rise, it is not always able to provide power and this can be problematic in some situations.