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UK's energy should be 95% nuclear or green by 2030 … but will it drive up your bills? 

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UK’s energy use should be 95% nuclear or green by 2030 as ministers unveil self-sufficiency bid… but will it drive up your bills?

  • New Energy Security Strategy will hugely expand wind, solar and nuclear power
  • The target is 95% of Britain’s electricity from nuclear and renewable by 2030 
  • Government intends to reduce reliance on volatile international energy markets
  • Boris Johnson is said to have won argument with Rishi Sunak over nuclear power
  • Eight new nuclear power plants planed to meet 25% of energy needs by 2050 
  • It’s unclear how this will be achieved without sky-high household energy bills 

Britain must massively expand wind, solar and nuclear power so that nearly all our electricity is homegrown and low carbon by the end of the decade, ministers will say today.

The Government will unveil its long-awaited Energy Security Strategy to reduce reliance on the international market following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Boris Johnson has won arguments with Chancellor Rishi Sunak over the cost of nuclear power, sources said.

The plan will set out an ambition to build up to eight nuclear plants to meet around a quarter of projected electricity demand by 2050. The ambitious proposals include a target to generate 95 per cent of Britain’s electricity from nuclear and renewable sources by 2030 – up from 55 per cent at present.

But it was unclear last night precisely how the Government could achieve this without energy bills rocketing.

Boris Johnson has won arguments with Chancellor Rishi Sunak over the cost of nuclear power, sources said.  The Government will unveil its long-awaited Energy Security Strategy to reduce reliance on the international market following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Boris Johnson has won arguments with Chancellor Rishi Sunak over the cost of nuclear power, sources said.  The Government will unveil its long-awaited Energy Security Strategy to reduce reliance on the international market following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Above: Construction workers at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station site, near Bridgwater. Ambitious proposals include a target to generate 95 per cent of Britain’s electricity from nuclear and renewable sources by 2030 – up from 55 per cent at present.

Above: Construction workers at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station site, near Bridgwater. Ambitious proposals include a target to generate 95 per cent of Britain’s electricity from nuclear and renewable sources by 2030 – up from 55 per cent at present.

Above: Plans and proposals for new nucelar power plants around the UK, with as many as eight by 2050. The ambitious Energy Security Strategy proposals include a target to generate 95 per cent of Britain’s electricity from nuclear and renewable sources by 2030 – up from 55 per cent at present.

Above: Plans and proposals for new nucelar power plants around the UK, with as many as eight by 2050. The ambitious Energy Security Strategy proposals include a target to generate 95 per cent of Britain’s electricity from nuclear and renewable sources by 2030 – up from 55 per cent at present.

Ministers will open the door to onshore wind in England by consulting on relaxing the planning laws that have led to a virtual moratorium on wind farms since 2015.

Local communities who wish to have wind farms installed will be guaranteed lower energy bills – potentially saving households hundreds of pounds a year – although details of how it will work remained unclear last night.

Approval times for building offshore wind farms will be slashed from four years to one year to rapidly expand their development, with an ambition to generate 50GW by 2030 – more than enough to power every home in the UK.

And solar capacity could grow five-fold by 2035, with more panels placed on domestic and commercial rooftops.

Ministers will also consult on changing planning rules to increase solar farms on non-protected land – a move that is likely to prove controversial in rural areas.

Ministers will open the door to onshore wind in England by consulting on relaxing the planning laws that have led to a virtual moratorium on wind farms since 2015 (stock image)

Ministers will open the door to onshore wind in England by consulting on relaxing the planning laws that have led to a virtual moratorium on wind farms since 2015 (stock image)

The Government hopes the strategy will make Britain a net energy exporter by the end of the decade, and insulate the country from global energy price shocks. Mr Johnson, the Chancellor and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng held a series of crisis meetings yesterday to finalise the plan after weeks of wrangling, but Mr Sunak’s objections about the cost of nuclear were ultimately overruled.

A source said: ‘The PM and Business Secretary won on nuclear.’

The strategy also includes plans to launch a licensing round for new North Sea oil and gas projects this summer to reduce reliance on imports.

And it contains an ambition to double low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 to replace gas in the longer term.

The Prime Minister said last night that the plan will allow Britons to ‘enjoy greater energy self-sufficiency with cheaper bills’ by reducing dependence on volatile international prices.

Mr Johnson said: ‘We’re setting out bold plans to scale up and accelerate affordable, clean and secure energy made in Britain, for Britain – from new nuclear to offshore wind – in the decade ahead.

‘This will reduce our dependence on power sources exposed to volatile international prices we cannot control, so we can enjoy greater energy self-sufficiency with cheaper bills.’

Business secretary Kwarsi Kwarteng sided with the prime minister in the debate over nuclear

Business secretary Kwarsi Kwarteng sided with the prime minister in the debate over nuclear

Mr Kwarteng added: ‘We have seen record high gas prices around the world. We need to protect ourselves from price spikes in the future by accelerating our move towards cleaner, cheaper, home-grown energy.

‘The simple truth is that the more cheap, clean power we generate within our borders, the less exposed we will be to eye-watering fossil fuel prices set by global markets we can’t control.

‘Scaling up cheap renewables and new nuclear, while maximising North Sea production, is the best and only way to ensure our energy independence over the coming years.’

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