There are different energy resources in the world and the amount of energy stored by them varies greatly. For example, the nuclear energy within 1 kg of uranium contains a very large amount of energy, but the gravitational potential energy stored by many thousands of tonnes of water held back by a dam contains less.
Fossil fuels are a chemical store of energy and include coil, oil and natural gas. Most of the UK's electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels, mainly natural gas (30% in 2015) and coal (23%). A very small amount is produced from oil (under 1%).
|Readily available (at the moment)||Non-renewable source – will eventually run out|
|Relatively easy to produce energy from them||Increasing fuel costs|
|Release carbon dioxide (CO2 ) when burnt – greenhouse gas|
|Release sulphur dioxide (SO2 ) when burnt – acid rain|
Electricity is generated in nuclear power stations using a fission reactor powered by uranium fuel. 22% of the UK's electricity is generated using nuclear fission.
|No release of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) – greenhouse gas||Non-renewable source – will eventually run out|
|No release of sulphur dioxide (SO2 ) – acid rain||Expensive to commission and decommission power stations|
|1 kg of uranium produces millions times more energy than 1 kg of coal||Hazardous radioactive waste produced|
|Danger of release of radioactive materials into the environment|