The UK government has released a plan to decrease fossil fuels by increasing the usage of renewable energy sources and nuclear energy. Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy on the 19th of April, outlined the British Energy Security Strategy. 

The most important outcomes include the following:

  • By 2030, 95% of all electricity will be produced by low carbon means. 100% in 2035. 
  • Ensure that the offshore wind industry delivers 50GW by 2030 rather than the previously proposed 40GW. 
  • Deliver 24GW  of Nuclear power by 2050, which should be around a quarter of all the energy demand in the UK around that time. 
  • Deliver 10GW of energy from low-carbon hydrogen production

Why is there an urgent need for reduced consumption of fossil fuels?

The transition to renewable energy is necessary for two reasons: Battle the ever growing challenge of climate change and, in this heavy geopolitical context, to reduce dependency on Russian oil and gas. 

With the Ukraine-Russia conflict escalating into an actual war, many countries and individuals have voiced the need for retaliation against Russia for their actions. Gas and oil prices have soared since the start of the war. For some countries, over ⅓ of all gas and/or oil was directly imported from Russia, which naturally has huge consequences for the trading prices of those commodities. 

Stopping the usage of Russian natural fossil fuels would have enormous repercussions. However, as the war continued, the call for punishment grew stronger and eventually, countries decided to reduce or sometimes even completely stop the import of Russian oil and gas. Using the right renewable mix could hopefully not only help battle climate change but also help battle the ever increasing energy bills for consumers. 

How can we make that shift?

Reducing dependency on Russian fossil fuels is key in battling the negative consequences of the halted import of Russian energy. Many countries have used the recent developments in the Ukrainian war to increase the development of renewable fuels. The UK has proposed an ambitious strategy to reduce the dependency on Russian energy and thus hopefully reduce the prices consumers pay for their power. At the same time, these policies could help in reducing the global warming problem. The plan consists of 4 different components. 

  • The increase of low carbon Electricity
  • 20% increase in wind energy production
  • A quarter of all energy demand to be produced by Nuclear energy
  • Increase low carbon hydrogen production. 

1. Prioritize low carbon electricity

The first target announced by Mr Kwarteng was the increased share of electricity produced by low carbon means. In 2019, around 54% of all Electricity was produced via low carbon means, mainly from renewable sources and wind energy. By 2030, this number should have increased to 95% according to the new roadmap. While in 2030, 100% of electricity should be produced through low-carbon means. 

2. Boost offshore wind production

The second component of the British Energy Security Strategy is the boost for the offshore wind industry in the UK. The UK government previously aimed for 40GW of energy production in the offshore wind industry by 2030 but has revisited these numbers recently, targeting 50GW in 2030 at the moment. Another measure that should help is the severely reduced approval time for offshore wind farms, from 4 years to 1 year. 

3. Invest in nuclear energy

Thirdly, the government aims to push nuclear energy production to reduce fossil fuel dependency. The UK government set the goal of producing 24GW via Nuclear energy in 2050. Around that time, experts forecast the total energy demand in the UK to be around 100. This would imply that roughly 25 per cent of all energy required in the UK would be produced through nuclear power plants in 2050. 

4. Accelerate hydrogen energy production

The final part of the newly outlined plan was an increase in low carbon hydrogen production in the year 2030. Around 10GW should be produced this year, with around 5GW through electrolytic produced hydrogen. 

What consequences on people’s energy consumption?

The transition to cleaner and cheaper energy will take time to develop, but ambitious goals like those announced in the Energy Security measure are certainly a step in the right direction. Not only will these measures help battle climate change, which will positively affect all of us on the globe. However, hopefully, with the transition to renewable energy, energy prices can be kept more stable with less dependency on external sources influencing production. The wind and sun will always remain available, regardless of what is happening in political spheres. 

What can you do yourself? There are several things you can do to reduce your climate impact and limit your energy bills. 

  • Start generating your own energy. Options include installing a geothermal pump and solar panels on your property. 
  • Make sure that you switch to a green energy supplier. This way, you can ensure that you actively support the transition to renewable energy.