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After spending most of the previous 25 years as a net exporter of energy the UK became a net importer in 2004.

The gap between imports and exports has increased since 2004. In 2017 UK imports of energy were almost twice as large as its exports. Net imports made up 36% of UK energy needs.

In the same year the value of gross imports of energy of £45 billion or £18 billion more than gross exports.

Gas and oil make up around 90% of energy imports. A relatively small amount of electricity is imported and coal import have fallen dramatically as much less coal is now used for generation.

Only Norway, Canada and Australia of the OECD states are net exporters of energy. The UK’s energy import dependency is less than levels in France, Germany, Japan, Korea, and Italy, but greater than the US.

The UK’s dependence on imported energy looks set to continue to increase in the future. This, alongside higher fuel prices and increased concern over the security of energy supply has increased the attention on energy imports and exports over the past decade.


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