UK Energy Security Strategy

The Government’s British Energy Security Strategy is due to be revealed, designed to reduce the UK’s dependence on carbon sources of energy.

The strategy should see 95 per cent of UK power from low carbon sources, with fossil fuel generation shrinking to 5 per cent, from around 40 per cent today. The plan includes plans for nuclear power, wind energy, hydrogen and solar production.

• The Government has set a new ambition for 50GW of offshore wind by 2030, including up to 5GW of innovative floating wind projects. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said would be more than enough to power every home in the UK, although there is less support for onshore wind power generation.
• The strategy also doubles the 2030 hydrogen target to 10GW, at least half of which will be green hydrogen capacity produced using renewable electricity.
• Up to eight more nuclear reactors, including two new reactors at Sizewell in Suffolk.
• Planning law reforms to speed up approvals for new offshore wind farms.
• Doubling of hydrogen production targets.
• Reform of rules around the installation of solar panels on with a target to increase current solar capacity by up to five times by 2035.
• A new licensing round for North Sea projects for oil and gas, with the logic that locally produced fossil fuels at least generate a lower carbon footprint.
• A £30m "heat pump investment accelerator competition" to make British heat pumps.

RenewableUK’s chief executive Dan McGrail said “The Prime Minister's ambitious new strategy puts the rocket boosters under the UK's transition to renewable energy and will cut consumer bills.”

Critics have made two main lines of opposition to the measures – the intention to expand nuclear energy and the lack of definite plans to increase insulation and efficiency of existing building stock. The latter perhaps explained by the Government emphasising that it is a supply policy.

Emily Davies, Greenpeace UK press officer said: “Few of the propositions will reduce UK fossil fuel usage in the short-term, and the emphasis has shifted to nuclear and to new oil and gas licences, which will not deliver for well over a decade, and will not be the best measures to reduce bills, addressing the cost-of-living crisis.”

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