Labor and independent experts have warned that Boris Johnson’s energy security strategy will do nothing to reduce the UK’s dependence on expensive imports this decade and will do little to alleviate the pressure on households from rising fuel bills.
The Prime Minister has backed away from setting targets for some of the fastest and cheapest methods of domestic power generation, particularly onshore wind power, instead emphasizing technologies such as nuclear power, which may take more than a decade to build and more than a decade in to develop Claim can take long delays and cost overruns.
Energy groups and specialists also attacked the lack of new means to improve the energy efficiency of Britain’s housing stock, which is among the most leaky in Europe. Reducing waste would be one of the fastest ways to tackle the current energy crisis, they said.
Labour’s energy spokesman Ed Miliband called the strategy “hopeless” and said the government was “confused” by the current cost of living crisis.
“The gaping hole in the middle is that it won’t do anything. . . this decade to help people with energy bills or with the energy security situation that we are facing,” he told BBC Radio 4 today Program.
Danny Newport, head of Net Zero at the nonprofit Tony Blair Institute, said the strategy feels “dangerously unsafe.”
“It should be a plan to quickly overcome three interlocking tests: how to lower bills, improve energy security and halt funding for Putin’s Russia. In any reasonable time frame, all three fail,” added Newport.
Simon Virley, head of energy and natural resources at consultancy KPMG, called the plan a “missed opportunity” and warned of the potential cost to consumers.
“The best way to permanently lower energy bills, reduce emissions and reduce our dependence on imported gas is to make an incremental change in energy efficiency,” Virley said.
“Other European countries like Holland, France and Germany are urgently doing this as part of their response to the Russia-Ukraine crisis. However, the British strategy contains almost no measures to improve energy efficiency.”
Kwasi Kwarteng, business secretary, acknowledged that the proposals were “more of a medium-term” solution that would take three to five years to deliver results.
“It’s really important that we get an energy strategy, an energy policy that means we can have more security and independence in the coming year,” he told Sky News.
The strategy, delayed for several weeks because of disputes between Downing Street and the Treasury, came to fruition 30 GW onshore wind target originally suggested by Kwarteng. The strategy only says the government will seek to build partnerships with a “limited” number of communities in England that may want to host onshore wind farms in return for lower energy bills.
The strategy instead places a strong emphasis on longer-term options such as nuclear power, setting a target of 24 GW by 2050 – the equivalent of eight large new power plants – despite the UK’s poor record in implementing new nuclear power projects.
It also hasn’t set a firm target for solar power, another source that can be built quickly and relatively cheaply, but said it would “aim to increase the UK’s current solar capacity of 14GW, which could grow fivefold by 2035.” “.
However, the Prime Minister is aiming to quintuple Britain’s offshore wind generation capacity to 50GW by the end of the decade, although energy companies have warned that this target will need to be accompanied by overhauls to planning processes and grid connections on ongoing projects, which were now being built for the first time conceived for well over a decade.
Robert Gross, professor of energy policy at Imperial College London, said “very little” of what has been announced will bring short-term relief to households.
“Even the fastest of the new technologies . . . will not be operational for years regardless of the tightening of plans,” added Gross.
https://www.ft.com/content/e78f8178-b230-45d6-86d5-49b1e5b37ac4 The UK’s energy security strategy has been criticized for a lack of quick fixes