A variety of primary energy sources are used to generate electricity in the UK. These include coal, gas, nuclear power, and renewable sources such as wind and solar.


Coal has been used to generate electricity in the UK for many years and is still one of the primary sources of power. Coal is a fossil fuel that is burned to produce heat. The heat is then used to generate steam, which drives electric turbines. Burning coal releases carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. For this reason, the UK is phasing out coal-fired power stations. 

Despite this, coal remains an integral part of the UK’s energy mix and will likely play a significant role in electricity generation in the coming years.

Natural Gas 

Natural gas can be used to generate electricity in several ways. The most common way is combustion, where natural gas is burned in a boiler to heat water and produce steam. The steam then drives a turbine, which generates electricity. Natural gas can also be used in a fuel cell to generate electricity. In this process, natural gas is combined with oxygen to produce a chemical reaction that produces electricity.

Natural gas is a relatively clean energy source, and it emits less carbon dioxide than coal when burned. This makes it an essential part of the UK’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions. Natural gas is also a very reliable source of electricity and can be used to generate electricity even when other energy sources are unavailable.

Nuclear Power 

Nuclear power in the United Kingdom generates electricity through nuclear reactors. Nuclear power is seen as a low-carbon alternative to other sources of electricity generation, such as coal and gas.

The government is currently planning to build a new generation of nuclear power plants, which will help meet future electricity demand while reducing carbon emissions. Nuclear power is an important part of the UK’s energy mix and will continue to be so in the future.

Renewable Sources 

The United Kingdom has a different diverse range of renewable energy resources which could be used to generate electricity. These include solar, wind, wave, and tidal power. The UK also has large potential reserves of biomass and geothermal energy.

Using renewable energy sources for electricity generation is important for two main reasons. 

  • It reduces the UK’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.
  • It helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Solar power is the most widely available renewable resource in the UK. There is potential to generate electricity from solar PV panels installed on the roofs of homes and businesses and from large-scale solar farms. The UK also has good resources for wind and wave power. There are many locations where wind speeds are high enough to make wind turbines viable, and the UK’s coastline provides good sites for wave energy converters. Tidal power is another renewable resource with potential in the UK. 

The UK is committed to increasing its power mix’s share of renewable energy. Visit www.utilitybidder.co.uk for businesses or homeowners interested in securing a quote for renewable energy installations.