British clean energy groups call for grid decarbonization by 2035: energy and environment
May 20, 2021
The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), RenewableUK and Solar Energy UK – representing Britain’s three largest producers of zero carbon energy – today called for urgent action to build new wind, nuclear and solar capacity and a binding target network decarbonisation to 100% by 2035 In a joint statement, they wrote that, just six months before the UK co-hosts the COP26 summit, the UK grid is “dirtier now than it was a year ago, “with a heavy reliance on fossil fuels.
UK Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng (Image: NIA)
Citing data from the National Grid ESO, the carbon intensity of electricity – the measure of CO2 emissions per unit of electricity consumed – was about 5% higher year-over-year over the four first months of 2021. Gas production was 22% higher, driven by the need to meet demand. This despite the fact that the UK spent more weeks under COVID-19 restrictions from January to April 2021 than during the same period in 2020.
“Despite individual record days, the network was on average 20% dirtier in April 2021 than in April 2020, with a carbon intensity of 200 gCO2 / kWh,” the statement said. “Decarbonizing the grid is essential to achieve the government’s new target of reducing emissions by 78% by 2035 and zero net by 2050. Clean electricity will be needed to power new fleets of electric vehicles, pumps domestic heat and green hydrogen production, the first steps in decarbonizing the rest of the economy. “
To accelerate progress, the associations are calling for an increase in the price of carbon consistent with the decarbonisation of the network by 2035, as well as the following actions:
- RenewableUK calls on the government to set specific deployment targets by 2030 for key renewable technologies by 2030: 30 GW of onshore wind, 2 GW of floating wind, 5 GW of hydrogen electrolyzer capacity green, in addition to 1 GW of marine energy in the 2030s;
- Solar Energy UK calls for a specific government target of solar deployment of 40 GW by 2030, and to support it by restoring funding and removing VAT for green house renovations, reforming commercial tariffs for large solar rooftops and by offering annual CfD auctions for solar energy until the end. of the decade.
- The NIA calls on the government to approve a funding model for new nuclear projects this year and to establish a plan to restore nuclear capacity to existing levels by the early 2030s.
NIA Chief Executive Tom Greatrex said: “We need to invest in a new generation of nuclear power plants to reach net zero and help level the country. We know that nuclear and renewables work well together to reduce emissions, and this strong low-carbon energy. the mix is our future. “
On May 18, the government announced that it would introduce a bill that would further commit to creating more nuclear power. The announcement was made by Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Enterprise, Energy and to industrial strategy, in a statement to the House of Commons marking six months since the Prime Minister’s release 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution.
Greatrex said: “We warmly welcome the Secretary of State’s confirmation that the government will introduce legislation for a new nuclear financing model in this Parliament. It is the key to lowering the cost of capital and stimulating investments in new projects.We urge the government to introduce the bill as soon as possible, so that we can continue and develop the nuclear capacity we need to achieve net zero and create good jobs throughout the world. country. “
Research and writing by World Nuclear News