Grant Shapps outlines the UK government’s energy goals
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Grant Shapps has vowed to ensure that the UK pays the cheapest energy bills in Europe, with a plan to increase wind power and nuclear energy generation. The UK’s newly appointed Energy Secretary shared a new video highlighting his plan to end the UK’s reliance on gas and electricity imports with “clean, homegrown” energy. Mr Shapps heads the UK’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, which was formed after households in the UK have been gripped by the worst effects of a fossil fuel energy crisis over the past year, which sent wholesale gas prices to record levels.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago sent wholesale natural gas prices to record levels, with many experts noting the UK’s heavy reliance on gas for its heating and generating electricity was the reason why it was one of the worst-hit countries in Europe.
These wholesale gas costs have been passed down to consumers, as households are currently paying a staggering £2,500 per year in gas and electricity bills since October.
Today, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero shared a video tweeting: We are the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. Our mission, which we’ve chosen to accept, is to make sure the UK has clean, homegrown energy which is secure and lowers bills for homes and businesses.
“See the video below where our Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps sets out his plan at National Grid ESO.”
In the video, Mr Shapps was sitting in the National Grid Control Room, where he said: “Normally our energy is something we take for granted thanks to the bright sparks here working at the National Grid Energy Control Room.
“As Security of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, my ambition is that by 2035, we’ll have the lowest wholesale electricity prices in Europe.
“Well, we already have three of the world’s largest offshore wind farms, and we’re driving forwards huge nuclear projects to power millions of homes.
“I’ll set Britain on a course to energy security by radically increasing production of renewables and nuclear and creating hundreds of thousands of green jobs in the process. This is our plan to take back power, to fuel Britain from Britain “
Offshore wind and nuclear energy are a key part of the Government’s current energy security strategy laid out last April, with an ambition is to deliver up to 50GW of electricity from offshore wind by 2030, including up to 5GW of innovative floating wind.
The UK is a world leader in offshore wind power, with three projects, Hornsea 1 and 2, Moray East, and Triton Knoll making up the three largest offshore wind farms in the world.
Meanwhile, the UK is also building the Dogger Bank wind farm, which will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world once constructed, and will generate enough electricity to power 6 million homes.
Aside from offshore wind, which is one of the cheapest forms of energy, the Government has also unveiled plans to generate up to a quarter of the UK’s electricity needs from nuclear power by 2050.
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There are currently six ageing nuclear power stations across England and Scotland operated by EDF Energy. Sizewell B, the UK’s only Pressurised Water Reactor, is expected to continue generation past 2028.
To help achieve the UK’s nuclear ambitions, EDF is currently building the Hinkley Point C reactor, which is due to be completed by June 2027 after many delays, powering six million homes for 60 years.
EDF is also looking to construct Sizewell C in Suffolk, which will power another six million homes, with the Government committing a £700million investment in the project.
Following the appointment of Mr Shapps as the Energy Secretary, Jess Ralston, Energy Analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) saying: “Net zero and energy security clearly go hand in hand, with British renewables now seen as more secure than gas.
“At a time when the US and EU are going gangbusters for green industry, will this new department be able to work across government to ensure the UK doesn’t get left behind?”
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