The United Kingdom produces 3% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, yet only has 1% of the population.
Until recently, the government was subsidising solar panels for anyone who wanted them. Those acquiring the panels still paid the majority of the cost, but the government was still helping to fund the development of green energy.
1990 energy mix
- 64.2% coal
- 11% oil
- 1% natural gas
- 21.5% nuclear
- 3.3% renewables
2008 energy mix
- 36.9% coal
- 1.3% oil
- 34.5% natural gas
- 21.4% nuclear
- 5.9% renewables
Changes in this time period
Gas is less expensive than coal, and transports more easily. It also produces less CO2 than coal per unit energy produced (It is a cleaner fuel).
Oil fields in the North Sea have been for the most part depleted, and much of the gas is, so gas is being imported from Russia, Norway and other gas-rich countries.
The demand for electricity has increased by 1/3. The UK is no longer dependent on coal power
Plans for increased sustainability (It should be noted that there are no strict deadlines)
- Smart electricity meters
- Tougher environmental standards for new buildings, with a code for sustainable homes
- Working to phase out inefficient goods (eg limiting the power of vacuum cleaners by the EU)
- Tripling electricity generated from renewables
- Setting up a carbon trading scheme for large companies
- £20 million spent in funding public procurement of projects to lower carbon usage.