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The UK Office for National Statistics has released data about the UK’s energy sector.
In 2011 imports of fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal increased by nearly 10% to 162.5 million tonnes, whilst at the same time fossil fuel exports fell.
Despite the government’s efforts to increase domestic energy production via the use of tax breaks and other financial support systems production of fossil fuels actually fell to the lowest levels since records began in 2011, although energy produced from waste and renewable sources grew, to now account for 4% of total energy use.
The government is now hoping that the development of the shale gas industry will help to boost domestic fuel production and reduce export volumes.
In 2011 British taxpayers paid £44.5 billion (nearly 3% of GDP) in environmental taxes such as, fuel duty, car taxes, and taxes on airplane tickets, yet at the same time government spending on the environment fell by £500 million to £12.9 billion.
The data also stated that greenhouse gas emission fell to 21% below 1990 levels in 2011, a record low and putting the UK well ahead of the 15% below 1990 levels target it agreed to with other EU members. Unfortunately more recent data showed that in 2012 emissions rose by 3.5%, mostly due to an increase in coal use, and the cold winter.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com