The British government on Thursday unveiled plans to boost the country’s energy independence as European nations seek to cut back on energy imports from Russia for the war in Ukraine.
The mainstay of Britain’s plan is to increase its nuclear capability, which aims to supply up to eight reactors this decade. Under the energy security plan, the country aims to increase its nuclear power capacity to 24 gigawatts, or a quarter of the estimated electricity demand, by 2050. There will be more oil and gas projects in the North Sea and the expansion of offshore wind and solar power. The government has said it wants to free Britain from expensive fossil fuels.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement that the plan would “reduce our dependence on energy sources that we cannot control” in the face of international price instability.
Last month, Britain announced that it would suspend Russian oil imports by the end of the year. Russian gas supplies were not affected. But before Russia invaded Ukraine, wholesale natural gas and some oil prices soared, disrupting industrial production and squeezing household budgets. In Britain, energy bills rose 54 per cent this month for most households and were expected to rise again in October as energy prices remained volatile.
But the government’s plan was quickly criticized. Industry groups and promoters say the energy security strategy failed to address the problems facing families due to rising energy costs because it did not include a plan. Increasing energy efficiency – especially through housing insulation – or it did not include new targets for coastal winds.
Adam Scorer, chief executive of National Energy Action, a charitable organization for energy poverty, said in a statement: “This is a good opportunity to create a decade-long plan to keep people away from volatile energy prices.”
The government’s plan includes an incentive to accelerate the manufacture and use of heat pumps, an alternative to the গ 30 million or $ 39 million domestic gas boiler.
Others have condemned plans to expand oil and gas projects in the North Sea, even including in Britain’s ambitious Climate Targets Act. The government says it will support domestic oil and gas “in the near term”, expecting 95 percent of electricity to be “low carbon” by 2030.
The government’s plan aims to increase offshore wind power fivefold by 2030 with the permission of the Rapid Plan. But the targets of the coastal wind were silenced amid internal opposition from the ruling Conservative Party. The government has said it will consult on developing partnerships with a limited number of communities willing to acquire wind turbines. The plan also included a goal to increase low-carbon hydrogen production capacity to 10 gigawatts by the end of the decade as part of Britain’s efforts to reduce emissions.
“Replacing gas with more nuclear energy is less carbon, but not nuclear renewable, and it’s not cheap,” said Darren Jones, chairman of the parliamentary committee overseeing opposition Labor lawmakers and energy policy, in a statement. . “It is disappointing that the government has again failed to take full advantage of coastal wind and solar energy.”