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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

UK Plans New Nuclear Energy Strategy to Combat Oil Reliance

As part of the UK’s new energy policy, up to eight additional nuclear reactors might be built on existing sites.

Increased wind, hydrogen, and solar output are all part of the strategy, which aims to strengthen UK energy independence and combat growing prices.

Experts, on the other hand, have advocated for a greater focus on energy efficiency and housing insulation.

Consumers are experiencing skyrocketing energy expenses as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has driven up gas prices even more.

By 2030, up to 95 percent of the UK’s power might come from low-carbon sources, according to the government’s new plans.

It describes how offshore wind farms might provide up to 50 gigawatts (GW) of electricity, which the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) claims would be enough to power every home in the UK.

However, it is claimed that one of the major sources of conflict was the development of onshore wind turbines.

The government also announced the formation of a new entity called Great British Nuclear to boost the UK’s nuclear capacity, with the goal of generating up to 24 GW of energy from nuclear power by 2050, accounting for 25% of predicted electricity consumption.

It has stated that the concentration on nuclear will result in the approval of up to eight reactors in total, one per year until 2030.

It also announced that two additional reactors at Sizewell in Suffolk will be approved during this parliament.

Wylfa in Anglesey and Oldbury in Cumbria have also been identified as potential sites for large-scale nuclear power facilities, smaller modular nuclear reactors, or a combination of the two.

Building new nuclear power plants has proven difficult in recent years due to their high construction costs.

Nuclear power opponents argue that new reactors take so long to come online that they will be too late to satisfy the UK’s emissions objectives or lower electricity prices.

The proposals, however, are a “important step forward” for the UK in meeting its climate targets, according to Tom Greatrex, CEO of the Nuclear Industry Association, and may create thousands of employment.

“I applaud the desire and commitment to accomplish much more and much faster,” he remarked.

The administration also stated that it will alter planning laws in order to reduce the time it takes for new offshore wind farms to be approved.

The approach only commits to consulting on building partnerships with “a small number of supportive towns” that wish to host wind turbines in exchange for lower energy prices for onshore wind.

Despite being one of the most cost-effective sources of electricity, new onshore wind projects have been on the decline since 2015, when the government halted subsidies and tightened planning procedures in response to concerns that wind turbines were an eyesore and noisy.

Hydrogen production targets are also being boosted.

There are also intentions to speed up North Sea oil and gas projects, in addition to expanding renewable energy output.

The projects will have a fresh licensing cycle in the autumn.

The government acknowledged the importance of these fuels in terms of energy security, as well as the fact that “creating gas in the UK has a smaller carbon impact than importing gas from elsewhere.”

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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