The UK Government Energy Security Strategy is Failing

The UK is going backwards in its goal to create energy security.

An analysis by the organisation Energy Climate and Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has concluded that the UK government has only delivered on three out of ten vital commitments it promised to strengthen the country’s energy future.

It has been a total of two years since the Government announced its British Energy Security Strategy following the Russian and Ukraine Conflict.

What is the UK’s Energy Security Strategy?

The Energy Security Strategy is a plan set out by the government to move the country towards energy independence, aiming to double the electricity generation capacity in the late 2030s. Decarbonising the power sector by 2035.

Ultimately, the strategy sets out to allow the UK to operate under complete energy independence, without the reliance on offshore sources.

The plan sets out a 10-point strategy

What is Going Wrong with Energy Security?

Since the announcement of the strategy, the government have only delivered on three of their promise out of ten, with Networks and grid operations, oil and gas, and hydrogen goals all being met.

This recent analysis conducted by the ECIU has found that the government are falling behind in meeting its goal to insulate 450,000 homes, which was a promised commitment that would reduce the waste of energy and the reliance on importing foreign gas.

Although the Boiler Upgrade Scheme has been increased and extended, which allows households to upgrade their fossil fuel boilers, the Clean Heat Market Mechanism which gives the manufacturers of boilers their heat pump sale targets has been delayed.

Offshore wind farms were also part of the plan, with plans to hold auctions each year but since the strategy report, only two offshore wind farms have been established with none acquired at the most recent auction held last year.

Furthermore, the plan also recognised the rise in global energy prices has led to an unprecedented rise in the UK’s cost of living.

Words from the Energy Climate and Intelligence Unit

Energy Analyst at ECIU, Jess Ralston had this to say about the analysis:

“The UK has had two energy security strategies within two years and we’re still going backwards, becoming more dependent on foreign imports. As a country, we’ve spent more than £100bn on gas over the crisis with the billpayer and taxpayer bearing the brunt.”

“The PM’s U-turning on insulation standards and heat pumps is leaving the UK less energy independent. And his Government’s policy failures in securing new offshore wind farms mean the UK could miss out on twenty-two times more homegrown electricity than could be generated by gas from new North Sea licences. If it genuinely wants greater energy security it’s prioritising the wrong things.”

In 2022, the UK imported energy mostly from Norway and the US, which was over 40% of the country’s energy. This amounted to spending over £3bn in importing costs for electricity from Europe.

Further Reading

British Energy Security Strategy (publishing.service.gov.uk) – look deeply at the government’s plan, published in 2022.

2-year-anniversary-of-the-British-Energy-Security-Strategy.pdf (edcdn.com) – Read the ECIU’s full analysis of the British Energy Security Strategy.

Energy Secretary Takes Action to Futureproof Energy Security – Energy Advice Helpline – Plans laid out early this year by Energy Secretary, Claire Coutinho.

Billy Strickland
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