The United Kingdom aims to produce electricity from renewable and nuclear sources only by 2035. That is in the plans of the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The country is grappling with an energy crisis that has pushed gas and electricity prices to record highs. The price increase cost a number of smaller energy suppliers in particular.
Minister Kwasi Kwarteng of Economic Affairs presented plans to reduce dependence on fossil fuels further. He argued at a conference of the ruling Conservative Party that nuclear power should be part of the UK’s energy mix solution.
Electricity generation from fossil fuels in the UK has already fallen to record lows as coal-fired power plants close and investment in wind and solar power soars. More than half of electricity now comes from low-carbon sources. However, the country is still heavily dependent on gas. Kwarteng wants this share to fall. “What we are saying is that by 2035 we will run out of fossil fuels,” he said, referring to electricity production. “Hopefully, we’ll run out of gas by then, and we won’t have any coal either.”
According to Johnson, a larger share of renewables and nuclear energy will make the country less dependent on imports and, therefore, also on price fluctuations. According to the prime minister, this also benefits the wallet of the British. Kwarteng has pledged to outline a strategy this month on how the UK should be carbon neutral by 2050. He is also expected to unveil a long-awaited plan on how to decarbonize the country’s heat supply.
The UK says it will be difficult to reach ‘zero levels’ without nuclear power, but nuclear power plants are expensive and take years to build. The government pledged in December to fund at least one large-scale nuclear project by 2025. However, the government has been trying to reach an agreement with the French energy company EDF for months.