Renewable energy

Most of the energy generated in the UK comes from non-renewable fossil fuels such as coal, gas and the uranium used in our nuclear power stations. Our transport needs are almost exclusively fuelled by petrol and diesel which are derived from oil (another fossil fuel). Burning fossil fuels releases significant amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into our atmosphere where it causes our climate to change via the greenhouse effect.

Renewable energy comes from natural resources such as:

  • Sunlight
  • Wind
  • Rain
  • Tides
  • Geothermal heat

They can be naturally replenished equal to or faster than they are consumed. Unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy sources produce little or no carbon dioxide (CO2) when used.

Generally speaking, there are two types of renewable energy technology, those that produce electricity, for example solar photovoltaic (PV) systems or small scale wind turbines, and those that produce heat and hot water, for example solar water heating or wood fuelled heating.