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What is being done about the UK Energy Crisis?


Recently, Uk’s business secretary has proposed tripling the supply of solar panels and doubling onshore wind power by 2030, which offers cheaper domestic energy but risks strong local protests. Rishi Sunak also introduced a cut in the VAT on solar panels from 5% to 0% in an attempt to increase demand for renewable energy sources such as solar panels taking pressure off energy prices.

Businesses have put forward ambitious targets for the expansion of renewable energy generation in the forthcoming energy security white paper. This paper has been delayed as the Treasury focuses over the cost of approving the six or more nuclear power plants envisaged in the strategy.

However, the potential cost of underwriting and co-investing in more atomic plants is seemingly concerning Rishi Sunak as this will be a big government investment with the government taking a 20% stake in it.

Kwarteng’s 2030 targets include an increase in solar energy from its current capacity of 14GW to 50GW, offshore wind from 11GW to 50GW, onshore wind from 15GW to 30GW, and nuclear power from 7GW to 16GW. This will be a huge achievement of more than doubling the amount of renewable energy it produces.

Although renewable energy is now being promoted further, there are still some concerns over this process. A huge concern is where these renewable energy plants or sources will be built as there has been a huge backlash from farmers over the fear that their space will be the first to be used. They have called for the government to use rooftops of buildings instead which are seemingly going to waste.

In response, Ministers are considering plans to give financial incentives to local residents near wind farms or new nuclear power stations.

A survey of nearly 20000 of its customers this week found 87% of respondents supported a wind turbine in their neighbourhood if it meant half price electricity.

Boris Johnson has referenced Europe's dependence on Russian gas and stated that “He (Putin) may have his hand on the taps for oil and gas, but there is nothing he can do to stop the North Sea wind”.

However, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the IEA has proposed a global halt to opening new oil and gas resources but OEUK warned that unless there is an increase in investment in the North Sea, around 80% of UK gas supplies and more than 70% of oil will have to be sourced abroad by 2030.

By the UK government subsidising renewable energy they are attempting to combat increasing energy prices by giving a cheaper alternative to UK citizens, which might decrease the demand for non-renewable energy and in turn decrease prices of non-renewable energy. This will help the UK government keep control of the cost of living and make sure the standard of living is still being maintained to a good level.

 

Written by Rohan Dhir


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