May 29, 2022
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Britain plans nuclear power, offshore wind to boost energy independence

Britain plans nuclear power, offshore wind to boost energy independence

LONDON — Britain will set out a plan to increase nuclear and offshore wind energy on Thursday in a drive to bolster its energy independence at a time of surging costs and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

It should improve wind, nuclear and photo voltaic technology, whereas supporting manufacturing of home oil and fuel within the close to time period, the federal government stated, including that 95% of electrical energy by 2030 might be low-carbon. 

Nuclear is central to the plan, with an ambition to improve capability to 24GW by 2050. That might meet round 1 / 4 of projected electrical energy demand, up sharply from about 14% immediately. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated the plan would scale up “affordable, clean and secure energy made in Britain, for Britain.” 

He stated it could “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.” 

The targets embody up to 50GW of offshore wind by 2030. Up to 5GW would come from floating installations in deeper seas. There would even be a brand new licensing spherical for North Sea oil and fuel, and a session on guidelines for photo voltaic initiatives. 

Mr. Johnson had promised the technique virtually a month in the past but it surely has been delayed by disputes over funding and opposition by some lawmakers to onshore wind farms. 

The plan can have no rapid affect on provide or costs which have helped push UK inflation to a 30-year excessive, however elevated nuclear, photo voltaic, wind and hydrogen will assist the long-term shift from fossil fuels. 

Energy costs surged final yr as the worldwide financial system reopened after the pandemic. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine despatched them greater once more. 

Not like Germany, Britain shouldn’t be depending on Russian energy, with the nation supplying 8% of oil demand and fewer than 4% of pure fuel — however it is going to be hit by competitors as Europe seeks various sources. 

London stated on Wednesday it could ban imports of Russian oil and coal by the top of the yr, and would part out Russian fuel as quickly as potential. 

Surging costs triggered British client payments to rise 54% in April, and industries equivalent to producers of glass, metal and chemical compounds say they can’t compete when costs are so excessive. 

Fuel-fired vegetation generated 40% of Britain’s electrical energy in 2021, with wind offering 20%, nuclear 14%, imports 9% and others equivalent to bioenergy, photo voltaic and coal the remainder. 

The federal government stated it could push ahead new nuclear initiatives as quickly as potential, together with on the Wylfa web site in Anglesey, Wales. 

A brand new physique — Nice British Nuclear — shall be arrange, it stated, and up to eight new reactors might be delivered, equal to one a yr as an alternative of 1 a decade. 

All however considered one of Britain’s current nuclear vegetation are scheduled to shut by 2030 and the primary new plant in additional than 20 years, Hinkley Level C, is predicted to come on-line in 2026, virtually a decade later than initially promised. — Kate Holton and Susanna Twidale/Reuters

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