RenewableUK says a new report which warns that this country’s reserves of oil, coal and gas will run out in just over five years shows the need for investment in wind, wave and tidal energy to fill the gap.

Researchers at the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University found the UK has 5.2 years of oil, 4.5 years of coal and 3 years of gas left.

Professor Victor Anderson from the Global Sustainability Institute said “The UK urgently needs to be part of a Europe-wide drive to expand renewable energy sources such as wind, wave and tidal power”.

Commenting on the study, RenewableUK’s Director of External Affairs, Jennifer Webber, said: “This report is a timely reminder of the need to develop our nation’s significant renewable energy resources to the maximum well before the UK’s fossil fuels dwindle away to nothing. That’s why it’s puzzling that the Conservatives have said they want to stop financial support for future onshore wind projects, especially as onshore wind is the cheapest mainstream form of renewable energy we have in the toolkit.

“The prospect of running out of fossil fuels in the UK by the end of the decade should focus minds on the absolute necessity of guaranteeing the generation of new low carbon power. Our import dependency has been growing every year, and we can’t let our nation’s energy security be at the whim of a foreign power. Onshore and offshore wind, wave and tidal energy will help deal with this, so they should be getting the right level of support politically and financially to guarantee the UK a secure power supply”.

“This study shows new capacity needs to keep coming forward, but to give investors that message we really need long-term vision and political leadership – setting a 2030 target to cut carbon in the generation of electricity would be a major step in the right direction. That target should be embraced by MPs of all political parties – in fact it’s a bare minimum, as they should also be setting clear renewable energy targets to stimulate growth and investment, if they’re serious about making the transition from fossil fuels to renewables as smooth and secure as possible”.


  1. RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with nearly 600 corporate members, RenewableUK is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK: http://www.renewableuk.com/
  2. The latest report on dwindling fossil fuels reserves from the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University “Country Resource Maps” can be found here: http://www.anglia.ac.uk/ruskin/en/home/microsites/global_sustainability_institute/our_research/resource_management.Maincontent.0017.file.tmp/Global%20Resource%20Observatory_Country%20Resource%20Maps%20Report.pdf