Britain will set out a plan on Thursday to expand nuclear and offshore wind energy to further strengthen its energy independence at a time of rising prices and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It will increase wind, nuclear and solar production while supporting domestic oil and gas production in the short term, the government said, adding that by 2030, 95% of electricity could be low-carbon.
Nuclear power is central to the plan, with the goal of increasing capacity to 24 GW by 2050.
This would cover about a quarter of projected electricity demand, rising sharply from around 14% today.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the plan would increase “affordable, clean and secure energy produced in Britain for Britain”.
He said it would “reduce our dependence on electricity sources that are exposed to fluctuating international prices that we can’t control, so we can enjoy more energy with cheaper bills.”
The targets include up to 50 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030.
Up to 5 GW would come from floating equipment in deeper seas.
A new licensing scope for North Sea oil and gas would be introduced and rules on solar energy projects would be consulted.
Johnson had been promising the strategy for almost a month now, but implementation has been delayed by controversy over funding and protests by some lawmakers against onshore wind farms.
The plan has no immediate impact on supply or prices, which has contributed to a 30-year high in UK inflation, but increased nuclear, solar, wind and hydrogen energy will help move the fossil fuels out in the long run.
Energy prices soared last year as the world economy reopened after the pandemic.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine pushed them higher again.
Unlike Germany, Britain is not dependent on Russian energy, providing 8% of its oil and less than 4% of its natural gas – but competition will hit as Europe seeks alternative sources.
London said on Wednesday it would ban imports of Russian oil and coal by the end of the year and extract Russian gas as soon as possible.
Due to soaring prices, UK consumer bills rose 54% in April, and industries such as glass, steel and chemicals say they can’t compete with such high prices.
In 2021, gas-fired power plants in Britain produced 40% of electricity, 20% of wind, 14% of nuclear power, 9% of imports and the rest bioenergy, solar and coal.
The government has said it will promote new nuclear projects as soon as possible, including the Wylf site in Anglesey, Wales.
They are setting up a new organization – Great British Nuclear, with its help, and can deliver up to eight new reactors, equivalent to one a year instead of a decade.
All but one of the UK’s nuclear power plants are scheduled to close by 2030, and after more than 20 years, the first new power plant, Hinkley Point C, is expected to be operational in 2026, almost a decade later than originally promised.
Britain plans nuclear and offshore wind energy to boost energy independence – SABC News
Source link Britain plans nuclear and offshore wind energy to boost energy independence – SABC News