Energy Security Strategy
The government's Energy Security Strategy was published on 7 April 2022 against a background of Putin's invasion of Ukraine and Europe's dependence on Russian oil and gas.
The UK imports around 4% of its gas from Russia, 8% of its oil and 30% of its diesel supplies.
What should the UK be doing to wean the UK off fossil fuels and reduce dependence on Russion oil and gas?
The UK has made good progress on decarbonising the National Grid. However, it has only made very limited progress on decarbonising heating and cooling which still relies largely on combustion of gas, coal, and oil to generate heat. Over 85% of UK households are still connected to the national gas grid.
What should Government now be doing?
The options include:
- Accelerating the phase-out of gas boilers in new build homes
- Lowering bills and incentivising electrification by removing legacy policy costs on electricity
- Expanding the Boiler Upgrade Grant Scheme to speed up the electrification of heat
- Increasing support for energy efficiency through existing schemes
- Accelerating take-up of the most efficient appliances
- Incentivising energy efficiency by amending the stamp duty system
- Launching a major new public information campaign
What the Energy Security Strategy contains
The Energy Security Strategy contains many future targets for increasing the supply of energy over the next 15 years from new nuclear stations, offshore wind and onshore wind, but seems to be a bit thin on how these targets will be achieved.
Where the Energy Security Strategy fails
The Strategy fails to addressed the need for significant energy saving measures to control the demand for energy, particularly the demand for gas.
We still have 85% of UK homes heated by gas. Gas boilers could be replaced by heat pumps which use one third of the energy – the remainder comes from heat transfer from the environment. The Government is still discriminating against the use of heat pumps by imposing large "environmental levies" on electricity, but almost none on gas.
It's time to electrify heat.