Can Renewable Energy replace Fossil fuels in the UK?

A Thesis by Daniel Dickson

Fossil fuel reserves, such as oil and gas, are vital resources in the modern world; responsible for powering homes, transport and business. Therefore, fossil fuel depletion time is a fundamental question which much be answered. Understanding how long conventional fossil fuel reserves will last is of key importance to help develop and prepare for when fossil fuel resources are diminished (Campbell and Laherrère 1998). The UK has long been dependent upon hydrocarbon deposits in the North Sea, with oil and gas making up the majority of the UK’s energy generation since the demise of the coal mining industry in 1970s and 80s. However, a decline in the extraction of fossil fuels from the North Sea since the beginning of the 21st century, due to falling reserve amounts, has resulted in the UK becoming a net importer of fossil fuels. Thus the UK is reliant upon overseas imports to meet its energy requirements (Bolton 2013). Subsequently the UK has begun exploring alternative fuel sources such as shale gas to meet its energy needs.

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