The government has announced its plan to boost Britain’s energy security following rising global energy prices and volatility in international markets.
The government’s British Energy Security Strategy sets out how Britain will accelerate the deployment of wind, new nuclear, solar and hydrogen, while supporting the production of domestic oil and gas in the nearer term.
The new commitments could see 95% of Britain’s electricity set to be low carbon by 2030.
The strategy will see a significant acceleration of nuclear, with the government proposing that it make up around 25% of our projected electricity demand by 2050.
A new government body, Great British Nuclear, will be set up immediately to bring forward new projects, and the government will launch the £120m Future Nuclear Enabling Fund this month.
This could mean delivering up to eight reactors, equivalent to one a year instead of one a decade.
The government’s plans also include:
- A new ambition of up to 50GW of electricity from offshore wind by 2030 – more than enough to power every home in the UK
- A licensing round for new North Sea oil and gas projects planned to launch this autumn
- A consultation on developing partnerships with a limited number of communities who wish to host new onshore wind infrastructure in return for lower energy bills
- A Heat Pump Investment Accelerator Competition in 2022, worth up to £30m to make British heat pumps
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: ‘We’re setting out bold plans to scale up and accelerate affordable, clean and secure energy made in Britain, for Britain – from new nuclear to offshore wind – in the decade ahead.
‘This will reduce our dependence on power sources exposed to volatile international prices we cannot control, so we can enjoy greater energy self-sufficiency with cheaper bills.’
Business and Energy Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, commented: ‘We have seen record high gas prices around the world. We need to protect ourselves from price spikes in the future by accelerating our move towards cleaner, cheaper, home-grown energy.
‘The simple truth is that the more cheap, clean power we generate within our borders, the less exposed we will be to eye watering fossil fuel prices set by global markets we can’t control.
‘Scaling up cheap renewables and new nuclear, while maximising North Sea production, is the best and only way to ensure our energy independence over the coming years.’
Photo by Karsten Würth