The UK is in the midst of an energy revolution. Since the late 1990s the Government has committed to using cleaner energy, and using less of it. Billions of pounds have been invested in renewable energy sources that generate electricity from the wind, waves and plant waste. At the same time the UK has managed to cut its energy use by almost a fifth as households and businesses have steadily replaced old, inefficient appliances and machinery with products that use far less energy to run. Energy demand has also fallen due to the decline of the UK’s energy-intensive industries, such manufacturing and steel-making. But Government data shows that the UK’s reliance on energy imports is at its highest since the energy crisis of the late 1970s, raising serious questions over where the UK sources its energy and what a growing dependence on foreign energy means for bills and for security. Imports accounted for just under 40pc of UK energy supplies last year. The country’s largest energy imports are crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products such as petrol and diesel. The last time the UK exported more electricity than it imported was the winter of 2009/10 – since then it has consistently been a net importer of power through giant sub-sea cables to France and the Netherlands. It’s a far cry from three decades ago, when Britain’s North Sea reserves made it a major energy player.
Telegraph 18th August 2016 read more »