Study raises fears that UK energy reserves could run out in five years

A study has warned that UK reserves of oil, gas and coal could run out in just over five years A study has warned that UK reserves of oil, gas and coal could run out in just over five years

Friday, May 16, 2014
6:26 AM

The UK’s own stores of oil, coal and gas will run out in little more than five years, a new report examining energy resources has claimed.

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The study claims that a number of countries in the European Union, including France, Italy and the UK, are facing critical shortages of natural resources.

Produced by the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University, the natural resource maps indicate that some countries have less than a year of energy resources remaining and are almost entirely dependent on imports from the likes of Russia, Norway and Qatar.

Using the most recent data on known reserves and current consumption, researchers found the UK has 5.2 years of oil, 4.5 years of coal and three years of gas remaining.

France has less than a year’s worth of its own reserves of oil, gas and coal.

Italy has less than a year of gas and coal, and only one year of oil.

Dr Aled Jones, director of the institute, said: “These maps show vulnerability in many parts of the EU and they paint a picture of heavily-indebted European economies coming under increasing threat from rising global energy prices.

“It is vital that those shaping Europe’s future political agenda understand our existing economic fragility.

“The EU is becoming ever more reliant on our resource-rich neighbours such as Russia and Norway, and this trend will only continue unless decisive action is taken.”

Some Eastern European members fare much better, with 73 years left of coal in Bulgaria and 34 years of coal in Poland.

Germany has over 250 years left of coal but less than a year of oil and only two years of gas.

By comparison, Russia has over 50 years of oil, over 100 years of gas and over 500 years of coal, based on their current levels of internal consumption.

Professor Victor Anderson, also from the institute, said: “Coal, oil and gas resources in Europe are running down and we need alternatives.

“The UK urgently needs to be part of a Europe-wide drive to expand renewable energy sources such as wave, wind, tidal, and solar power.”

The maps are part of the Global Resource Observatory (GRO) project being carried out by the Global Sustainability Institute, which examines the relationship between the world economy and the environmental factors and resources it depends on.

3 comments

  • Rubbish we have 300 years worth of Coal in the UK, Unfortunately we have abandoned it and closed all our mines, (Tory Government did) and have gone for the option of cheap imported coal.

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    MickB1

    Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • More rubbish spouted by an east Anglian place of "Education". I work in the oil business in the Central and Northern North Sea and we have committed plans to continue production for next 30 years. More scare mongering by renewable energy mouth pieces.

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    DaveG

    Friday, May 16, 2014

  • " Probably enough coal in the North Sea to sustain the whole of Europe’s energy requirement for 2,000 years." Telegraph By Algy Cluff 14 Dec 2013 So what happened to that?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    ITSTEAPOT

    Friday, May 16, 2014

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