The energy sector is a highly innovative and expansive industry with a sustained focus for alternative power sources, renewable energy solutions and the balance between growing energy demands with local global environment challenges. The UK energy sector employs over 680,000 in a varied array of professions, from oil & gas engineers to nuclear scientists. EU Skills Research states the UK will need to employ another 200,000 people by 2023 to keep up with industry growth and demand.
Over the last 10 years, the UK has made a transition from being a net exporter of energy to having more than 25% of UK energy now imported. The main energy sources for the UK are approximated as Natural Gas & Oil (41%), Coal (31%), Nuclear (18%), Renewables (9%) and other (1%).
Renewable Energy Sector
Renewable energy uses the natural environment to make electricity. Renewable energies include include wind, wave, hydro, biomass and solar power. Renewable energy technologies produce approximately 9% of the UK’s electricity, and EU targets mean that this is likely to increase to 30% by 2020. Renewable energy will become a critical player in the strategy to reduce carbon emissions.
Nuclear Energy Sector
Currently, approximately 18% of UK electricity is provided by nuclear power from the use of 19 reactors across 10 locations. By 2025, the UK is expected to be supplied with around 25% of its energy from nuclear power. In June 2011, eight sites across Britain were chosen as locations for new nuclear stations.