UK announces new energy strategy with hydrogen an important component
The UK government’s British Energy Security Strategy sets out how the country will accelerate the deployment of hydrogen, nuclear, wind and solar while supporting the production of domestic oil and gas in the nearer term – which could see 95% of electricity by 2030 being low carbon.
The strategy will see a significant acceleration of nuclear, with an ambition of up to 24 GW by 2050 to come from this safe, clean, and reliable source of power.
This would represent up to around 25% of our projected electricity demand. Subject to technology readiness from industry, Small Modular Reactors will form a key part of the nuclear project pipeline.
A new government body, Great British Nuclear, will be set up immediately to bring forward new projects, backed by substantial funding, and we will launch the £120 million (€143 million) Future Nuclear Enabling Fund this month.
Our ambitious plans also include:
• Oil and gas: A licensing round for new North Sea oil and gas projects planned to launch in Autumn, with a new taskforce providing bespoke support to new developments – recognising the importance of these fuels to the transition and to our energy security, and that producing gas in the UK has a lower carbon footprint than imported from abroad.
• Heat pump manufacturing: The government will run a Heat Pump Investment Accelerator Competition in 2022 to make British heat pumps, which reduce demand for gas.
The coutry will aim to double our ambition to up to 10 GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030, with at least half coming from green hydrogen and utilising excess offshore wind power to bring down costs. This will not only provide cleaner energy for vital British industries to move away from expensive fossil fuels, but could also be used for cleaner power, transport and potentially heat.
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.
‘’This plan comes in light of rising global energy prices, provoked by surging demand after the pandemic as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This will be central to weaning Britain off expensive fossil fuels, which are subject to volatile gas prices set by international markets we are unable to control, and boosting our diverse sources of homegrown energy for greater energy security in the long-term.’’