UK plans to harness nuclear power and renewables in bid for cleaner, more independent energy

UK nuclear power renewables cleaner energy uranium
The UK government is looking to build eight new nuclear reactors in a bid to generate cleaner and more affordable energy.

The United Kingdom Government has developed an ambitious plan to phase out traditional oil and gas and transition to “clean energies” in the form of nuclear, wind, solar, and hydrogen.

The government plans to reduce the countries reliance on oil and gas by constructing as many as eight new nuclear reactors across the country – delivering one a year

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the approach aims to drive a switch to clean energy across the country.

“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,” he said.

He said these efforts will boost long-term energy independence, security and prosperity especially after rising global energy prices and volatility in international markets in recent times.

The plan sets out a target for 95% of Britain’s electricity to be low carbon by 2030.

Over 40,000 more jobs in clean industries will also be generated, totalling 480,000 jobs by 2030.

Newly founded government body with “substantial” financial backing Great British Nuclear will overlook the projects, including the launching of the £120 million Future Nuclear Enabling Fund this month.

Nuclear power could be the future of energy

Nuclear power is at the forefront of the UK’s new priorities involving energy consumption throughout the country.

Boss of the Nuclear Industry Association Tom Greatrex says the UK plans marked a “vital step forward” for the nation to meet its climate goals, and could open up thousands of jobs.

While the plans are unlikely to resolve household issues right now, experts argue the strategy is more a “three-, four- or five-year answer”.

Ministers expect to begin a competitive selection process as early as next year for a new round of nuclear projects to help continue the push. 

Breaking down the UK’s plan

The UK’s transition to clean and independent energy also involves the use of offshore wind, with hopes of up to 50GW by 2030, which is more than enough to power every home in the UK, as well as aiming to see up to 5GW from floating offshore wind in deeper seas.

In harnessing offshore wind, the UK will look to establish partnerships with a number of supportive communities that want to host the infrastructure in return for guaranteed lower energy bills.

Heat pump manufacturing will also take place with the country running a Heat Pump Investment Accelerator Competition in 2022 worth up to £30 million to make British heat pumps, which reduces the demand for gas.

The UK also hopes to launch a licencing round for new North Sea oil and gas projects to emphasise the importance of these fuels to the transition and to energy security, and that producing gas in the country has a lower carbon footprint than imported from abroad.

What this means for everyday consumers

The UK Government’s goal is also to reduce energy bills for consumers this decade.

Business and Energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng says the future lies in the hands of clean energy.

“The simple truth is that the more cheap, clean power we generate within our borders, the less exposed we will be to eye watering fossil fuel prices set by global markets we can’t control,” he said.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands says the crisis between Russia and Ukraine has raised awareness for independence in today’s economy.

“Although we don’t rely on Russian energy, accelerating our transition to renewable energy is the best thing we can do to protect the British people and to drive economic growth,” he said.

The ongoing war between Russia and the Ukraine has raised awareness for countries throughout the world to maximise the use of their own utilities and resources.

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