Is the UK Energy Secure?

Whilst I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a while I like to share my findings and also research that I have done in the past few weeks. The last one I did of these was all the way back in July when I did some research about Elizabeth 1. However, this one isn’t going to be historically based, because I have been doing research in geography. 

These last few weeks I have been researching about energy! Now this is the kind of energy that gives us electricity, petrol for our cars and all of what we would call now a days essential energy. Part of my A Level Geography is to decide if the UK is energy secure, meaning do we have enough energy where we won’t suddenly run out and all of the lights will go out. 

Here is what I found:

 Energy Security is the association between national security and the availability of natural resources for energy consumption. Access to cheap energy has become essential to the functioning of modern economies. However, the uneven distribution if energy supplies among countries has led to significant vulnerabilities. The UK is made up of England, Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland. In the UK in 2013 energy resources include 38% coal, 28% gas, 21% nuclear, 11% renewable and 2% other resources.

 The evidence of energy security is that the MEDCs have the money and the power to purchase the energy resources such as the UK has money to buy oil which they can buy from Saudi Arabia and they can buy coal from Russia. However, buying these fossil fuels in trade blocs means that it can work out as cheaper because they are buying in ‘bulk’ and also they don’t charge tax in trade blocs such as the EU and NAFTA. The UK is also energy secure because we have our own energy supply such as North Sea Oil, oil from Fursey Island in Poole Bay and also Easington Gas Terminal. However, we do not have enough fuel to be self sufficient. There also a few nuclear power stations in the UK such as Hinkley Point in Somerset, however people do not want these as they can cause long-term damage to the environment. 

 However, there is evidence of energy insecurity. This is because 87% of the energy that is used is non-renewable and will eventually run out, which means as the fossil fuels start to run out the prices of coal, oil and gas will increase which will make it less available for people especially on the UK because it has a high percentage of imports as it doesn’t produce enough fossil fuel to support the country, which would make the UK vulnerable. There is more evidence for energy insecurity such as political issues. When countries with fossil fuels (Russia) have disputes with countries that they are selling their fuel to, Russia can turn off the pipes with the fuel in to those countries. Another reason for energy insecurity is that people do not like change and will not let alternatives happen (NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard), such as some people are protesting about the newly proposed wind farm in Bournemouth (Navitus Bay) which could help provide energy security in the UK as in 2000 only 1.3% of the UK’s energy was renewable.

 In conclusion if we kept these methods of the energy use in the UK we would be fine in the short term because we would have fossil fuels, but in the long-term we will be insecure because fossil fuels will start to run out and the prices of these fuels will rise and therefore fuels will become less accessible to many people unless we change to alternative methods such as solar panels on houses and wind farms like Navitus Bay in Bournemouth (which as of September 2015 has now been turned down permanently.)

 

Credit to whoever made this, but it wasn’t me!
 
So there we go. That is my opinion on energy security here in the UK. I hope you liked this little blog post and I hope it makes you slightly more aware of what we need to do to make sure we can become even more energy secure!

~Ciara~

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