Researched have today warned that Britain's fossil fuels may run out within the next 5 years. This is expected to increase our dependency on Norway, Qatar and Russia and then need to focus on renewable technologies on a continental level have been emphasised as a result. The Government have responded by saying that complete energy independence is "unnecessary".
The Global Sustainability Institute were particularly concerned about the UK's increasing dependency on overseas fossil fuels, warning that without a European "drive" toward renewable power it could see itself in a dire economic situation in the next decade. At the moment Russia have more than 50 years worth of oil, over 100 years worth of gas and 500 years worth of coal at the current level on consumption. Conversely, Britain has just over 5 years of oil, 4 years of coal and just 3 years of gas remaining at the current level of consumption. According to the same report, France is faring even worse, with less than a year of fossil fuel remaining.
The institute warned that these indebted countries who rely severly on importing fossil fuels were becoming more and more vulnerable to price fluctations. The situation effects most countries in Europe, but the picture is not black and white. Germany, for example, have over 250 years of coal remaining but less than a single year's worth of oil. Bulgaria has 34 years of coal. This is how dramatic the situation changes from country to country and it illustrates just how much of a complex trading nightmare could ensue if countries do not start producing their own renewable energy.
However, a Research Councils fellow for UK Energy Strategy had other ideas about the report. He claimed that the report was dubious and doubted the statistics, while also stating that UK has a stable and secure import system set up, and that producing our own energy shouldn't really be a priority. Combine this with the fact that the Tories are planning to cut the number of onshore wind farms and subsidies are being cut for solar farms across the country, and you can see a pattern emerging that may become problematic to say the least. Ministers are more than likely hoping that fracking will bring enough revenue and gas to make a difference to these figures, but only time will tell.
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