UK to build nuclear power plants and expand offshore oil in energy security boost

The UK government will seek to build eight nuclear power plants and expand domestic oil production to ensure energy security amid the global crisis.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s long-awaited energy strategy will include a major switch to nuclear power and opening up oil exploration in the North Sea, in a tacit admission that so-called green energy sources will not be enough to ensure energy security.

The government said it wants to see a “significant acceleration in nuclear power,” with a goal of generating 24 GW of power from nuclear power by 2050, or about a quarter of the country’s projected electricity needs.

The strategy says it will go hand in hand with the creation of a new government agency to be called Great British Nuclear and will see a £120m investment in a Future Nuclear Enabling Fund to be launched later this month to safe, clean, and reliable source of energy”.

The government said it plans to open eight reactors this decade and said the accelerated pace will be equivalent to one new reactor per year, compared to the previous rate of one per decade.

A new licensing round for oil and gas projects in the North Sea is also due to start in the autumn, with the Government saying it’s important to recognize “the importance of these fuels for the transition and our energy security and what the UK’s production of gas has to offer.” a lower carbon footprint than that imported from abroad.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We are making bold plans to expand and accelerate affordable, clean and secure Made in Britain energy for the UK – from new nuclear power plants to offshore wind power – over the next decade.

“This will reduce our dependence on energy sources that are subject to volatile international prices that we cannot control, allowing us to enjoy greater energy self-sufficiency with cheaper bills.”

But the green Conservative government said it hopes 95 per cent of Britain’s electricity will be “low-carbon” by 2030, with new investment in solar power set to increase fivefold by 2035.

The strategy called for a “new target” of reaching 50GW of power from offshore wind farms by the end of the decade, which the government said would be enough to “power every home in the UK”. The plan includes floating wind farms in deep-sea areas and cuts in regulations to cut approval times from an average of four years to one year.

The government will also seek to bribe Britain into allowing onshore wind farms to be built in their communities “in exchange for guaranteed lower energy bills”, but has not spelled out exactly how this will be achieved.

To the disappointment of business conservatives, including Richard Tice, leader of Reform UK, the energy strategy did not repeal the fracking ban, merely declaring that an “impartial technical review” of shale gas extraction would be carried out.

Critique of the Movement, Richard Tice called that the energy plan “will lead to much higher electricity prices because it relies on much more expensive, subsidized renewable energy, which has pushed up electricity prices for the last 15 years. Our shale gas treasure saves CO2 [and] bring the prices down.”

In fact, the government has even admitted that today’s announcements will do little to stem the soaring fuel and electricity prices the nation is currently facing.

“You are right when you say that the strategy is more of a medium term, three, four or five year answer, but that doesn’t mean we can’t tackle that,” Economy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News.

“It’s really important that we get an energy strategy, an energy policy, so that we can have more security and independence in the coming year,” he added.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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