If experts are to be believed, Britain is too dependent on imported oil, gas and coal to meet its energy needs. These experts reckon that if something is not done quickly to address this issue, it will cause a major problem in the future.
As mining contractors may recollect, the last deep coal mine in the UK, Kellingly Colliery, was shut down in 2015. However, Britain is still dependent on coal for electricity generation. Nearly 22 per cent of the electricity is generated from coal, and as a result, Britain has to import large quantities of coal from the US, Russia and Colombia.
The UK North Sea has also witnessed a decline in production due to high operational costs and plunging oil and gas prices. Hinkley C nuclear power station will not come online until 2025. These factors are contributing to an energy security crisis that Britain needs to address immediately.
Global Sustainability Institute Director Aled Jones stated that Britain needs to act immediately to ensure its energy security. He said that switching to another fuel will take years, and if oil prices suddenly increase, it will have a profound effect on Britain’s manufacturing sector.
It is estimated that the UK has coal reserves ranging anywhere from 500 million tonnes to 3,685 million tonnes. However, with coal mines closed for good in the country, these reserves will remain untouched.
World Coal Association CEO Benjamin Sporton said that the UK could have taken a leadership role to develop clean coal technologies and then benefitted by exporting these technologies across the world. However, it is not doing it, which is strange considering that the nation is still extremely reliant on coal for its energy requirements.
Sporton added that Britain should make an effort to recognise how low emission coal technology can help meet its energy needs and those of the climate. If the nation does that, it will help the UK get over its dependence on imported coal, oil and gas.