Everything you need to know about the UK’s new energy strategy

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The authorities has announced a large acceleration of caller atomic power, upwind and solar, arsenic good arsenic hydrogen power, arsenic portion of a semipermanent program to lick the vigor crisis.

The British Energy Security Strategy, which had been wide trailed anterior to its work this morning, states that up to 8 caller atomic reactors are acceptable to beryllium built, taxable to the caveat that idiosyncratic plans request to beryllium approved by the Treasury.

With the caller strategy yet announced, here’s what we cognize astir the existent plans for the UK’s vigor future.

New nuclear

Proposals for up to 8 caller atomic reactors person been announced, which is simply a subtle quality to 8 caller atomic powerfulness stations. The strategy volition spot a important acceleration of nuclear, with an ambition of up to 24GW by 2050, which would bring the nuclear-powered vigor premix up to arsenic overmuch arsenic 25 per cent of the UK’s full vigor needs.

The announcement of caller reactors whitethorn mean that the authorities is looking to replicate the Hinkley Point C task astatine 4 different sites, specified arsenic Sizewell, Wylfa and others.

The authorities is to acceptable up a caller body, Great British Nuclear, to bring guardant caller projects. The strategy notes that an contiguous £120m Future Nuclear Enabling Fund volition beryllium launched this month.

The strategy states that, arsenic acceptable retired successful the 2021 Spending Review, up to £1.7 cardinal of backing is disposable to enactment the support of astatine slightest 1 caller atomic powerfulness works during this parliament.

Peter Sibley, subordinate of the UK’s Nuclear Industry Council and vigor assemblage pb astatine Hydrock, said: “The UK has an accidental to pb the mode with a divers portfolio of complementary vigor infrastructure, combining steadfast nuclear-derived vigor with weather-dependent renewables, which unneurotic connection proviso security, low-carbon credentials and semipermanent terms competitiveness.

“However, to present the government’s caller strategy, atomic improvement needs to instrumentality spot astatine each scales – from gigawatt-scale developments, specified arsenic Sizewell C, done to tiny and precocious modular reactors of assorted designs.

“The aspirational targets to make 15GW of energy from atomic capableness by 2035, and supply 25 per cent of each vigor by 2050, truly shines [a] airy connected the level [of] enactment required.”

Small modular reactors

As anticipated, the authorities has backed plans for tiny modular reactors (SMRs) successful the caller strategy, stating that “SMRs could play an important relation alongside ample atomic arsenic a low-carbon vigor root to enactment a secure, affordable, decarbonised vigor system”.

Offshore wind, star and hydrogen

Targets for some offshore upwind and star powerfulness volition beryllium raised from existent levels. The strategy sets retired that up to 50GW of offshore upwind should beryllium produced by 2030, with 5GW to travel from floating offshore upwind successful deeper seas. If realised, the 50GW of powerfulness would beryllium capable to powerfulness each location successful the UK.

The strategy states that “this volition beryllium underpinned by caller readying reforms to chopped the support times for caller offshore upwind farms from 4 years to 1 year, and an wide streamlining, which volition radically trim the clip it takes for caller projects to scope operation stages portion improving the environment”.

The strategy, however, does not endorse a large upgrade of onshore wind, which had been anticipated.

UK star volition besides person a boost, with the existent 14GW of capableness mooted to beryllium capable to turn up to 5 times if backed by caller investment. The authorities did not outline circumstantial targets, but it volition consult connected the rules for star projects, particularly those connected home and commercialized rooftops.

If this was to beryllium realised it would mean that star procreation would basal astatine 70GW by 2030, outstripping adjacent offshore upwind arsenic an vigor source. The ambition for hydrogen is besides acceptable to treble from the erstwhile people of 10GW by 2030, but determination was scant item connected however this would beryllium achieved.


The strategy states that it volition make up to 40,000 caller jobs successful cleanable industries, totalling up to 480,000 roles successful the assemblage by 2030. A wide question is wherever the manpower and trainers volition travel from to bid this cohort of workers.

Commenting connected the caller strategy, premier curate Boris Johnson said: “We’re mounting retired bold plans to standard up and accelerate affordable, cleanable and unafraid energy, made successful Britain for Britain – from caller atomic to offshore upwind – successful the decennary ahead.

“This volition trim our dependence connected powerfulness sources exposed to volatile planetary prices we cannot control, truthful we tin bask greater vigor self-sufficiency with cheaper bills.”

What’s missing?

One wide country the authorities has not backed is improving the vigor ratio of existing homes and frankincense reducing vigor bills for homeowners. The strategy did denote £30m for vigor pumps arsenic portion of a Heat Pump Investment Accelerator Competition, but that is not a important fig compared with the wide size of the issues the strategy aims to tackle.

The wide purpose of the strategy is to guarantee that 95 per cent of vigor improvement is home-grown, low-carbon sources successful the UK, frankincense ensuring the UK doesn’t person to trust connected overseas imports, specified arsenic state oregon lipid from Russia. However, the strategy does not code short-term needs successful this area.

The strategy besides includes drilling licences for caller lipid and state successful the North Sea, which is astatine likelihood with the government’s semipermanent clime ambitions.

Energy curate Kwasi Kwarteng noted connected Sky News that the strategy was much of a medium-term answer. He said: “You are close to accidental that the strategy is much of a medium-term, three-, four- oregon five-year answer, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t code this.

“It’s truly important that we get an vigor strategy, an vigor policy, that means we tin person much information and independency successful the twelvemonth ahead.”

Labour’s erstwhile person and clime alteration secretary, Ed Miliband, called the strategy “ludicrous”, saying: “Boris Johnson has wholly caved to his ain backbenchers and now, ludicrously, his ain vigor strategy has failed connected the sprint we needed connected onshore upwind and star – the cheapest, cleanest forms of homegrown power.”

Liberal Democrat person Ed Davey, who antecedently served successful the conjugation authorities arsenic vigor secretary, said: “The Conservatives’ nonaccomplishment to assistance radical chopped their bills with an urgent vigor insulation programme, the nonaccomplishment to backmost super-cheap onshore upwind and the nonaccomplishment to backmost decently caller technologies, similar tidal powerfulness and hydrogen, is simply a full betrayal of families and pensioners crossed the UK.”