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Where does my energy come from?

Where does my energy come from? Why renewables are the answer

Energy Security - Why renewables are the answer The UK is more heavily reliant on fossil fuel imports to produce its energy supply than ever before. And it is being transported an awfully long way to get here.
In 2013, the UK continued to import over 60% of the fuel it needed to generate electricity –often from volatile places around the globe. We buy coal from Russia, gas from Norway and uranium from Canada and Australia - but in total 20 other countries currently supply us with the power we need.
This fuel was then primarily delivered to the UK by boat (84.4%) or by pipe (15.6%) travelling an average distance of 3,900 miles.
Energy Miles - Why renewables are the answer Earlier this year, when Good Energy looked at where the UK’s electricity came from in 2012, we found that just 35% of the fuel came from the UK’s own resources, having already fallen from 43% in previous findings. Analysis of 2013 data shows that this figure has further reduced, with now only 33.8% of the fuel we use to generate electricity coming from the UK itself.
The headlines from the latest data are:
- Known imported fuels account for 60.7% of UK electricity generation. Tweet this energy stat.
- Fuel imported into the UK for electricity generation travels an average distance of 3,900 miles. Tweet this energy stat.
- Just three countries - Russia, Canada and Australia - supply more than a quarter of the fuel used to generate electricity in the UK. Tweet this energy stat.
- Only 33.8% of the fuel used to generate electricity is sourced in the UK. Tweet this energy stat.
- Of this 33.8%, 40.8% comes from renewable sources, an increase from 27.8% in 2012 and 19.2% in 2011. Tweet this energy stat.
Fossil fuel prices are hard to predict and because so much is imported from other countries, we simply have less control over our supply. With limited security over this supply, we’re increasingly in a vulnerable position. This is an ominous sign for our economy and worrying news for our energy bills too. Then, of course, there are also the environmental impacts of transporting and using such a large proportion of fossil fuels to consider.
But British people want a change. A YouGov survey conducted in November 2014 revealed that people want to see a reduction in how much fossil fuel we import. 72% of participants thought that the UK imports too much of its fuel for energy generation, whilst only 4% thought that enough is being done to reduce this amount.
76% of respondents also thought that more should be done to increase renewable energy generation in the UK.
The good news is that renewable electricity generation, from natural sources like the sun, wind and rain, is rising all the time and continuing to show incredible growth.
- Renewables generated 16.7% of UK electricity in 2013 – an increase from 9.2% in 2011 and 11.3% in 2012. Tweet this energy stat.
So despite the fact we’re still heavily reliant on imported fossil fuels, renewable energy refuses to back down. On the contrary, renewable energy is surging onwards. On the 19th October, wind energy alone powered almost 25% of the country!
There's a better way - Renewables generated 16.7% of UK electricity in 2013 And there is a renewable energy army of independent generators, nearly half a million strong, generating cleaner, greener electricity all over the country.
Supported by the Government’s Feed in Tariff (FiT) scheme, businesses, communities, farms, schools and households are all powering themselves and even putting electricity back into the grid. It’s clear that when people can see the relevance of renewable energy – cheaper bills, less reliance on foreign imports, improved environment – they welcome it with open arms. And the data proves it.
- In 2013, independent UK generators under the Feed-in-Tariff grew to 448,000 installations with a total capacity of 2.2GW. Tweet this energy stat.
- Good Energy saw a 28% growth in its network of home and commercial generators in the past 12 months. Tweet this energy stat.
Home grown energy can have an amazing effect on people’s behaviour. Good Energy surveyed over 3,000 of its FiT customers in September 2014, 98% of which had a solar PV generator installed at their homes. We asked whether their attitudes towards using energy had changed since having a renewable form of generation installed.
- 70% of people agree that since having solar panels installed, they have changed how they use energy at home. Tweet this energy stat.
- 57% of home energy generators agree that they now value energy more, so tend to use it less. Tweet this energy stat.
- 84% of people agree that they use appliances more when the sun is shining and they know their solar panels are generating. Tweet this energy stat.
- 74% of home energy generators have installed other measures to improve the energy efficiency of their home. Tweet this energy stat.
Home grown energy changes behaviour
We’re always going to need electricity. But do we really need to continue relying on imported fossil fuels which leave the UK increasingly vulnerable? Our research shows most people don’t believe we do.
It’s not that difficult to imagine a future powered solely by renewables. It’s closer than some may think. With your help, we’ll get there.
If you’d like to know how we worked out our figures, visit