IET respond to the Prime Minister's energy announcement
In response to the Prime Minister’s energy announcement today, Charmaine Coutinho, member of the IET’s Energy Panel said:
“The situation we are currently experiencing is exceptional, and in this volatile global market, we need to redouble our focus on the resilience of our own energy system. While the announcement today focuses on improving our own energy supply and system, there are some gaps and considerations.
“Renewable energy opportunities are the quickest to put in place in terms of securing our own energy system and this is vital for net zero, however, projections show that the amount required to meet future demand will be significantly higher than current capacity. Almost all of the UK’s existing sustainable power plants are scheduled to retire before 2050 so choices today will be critical to ensure we meet demand through sustainable sources in future.
“The proposed pace and scale of development of new nuclear reactors is likely to be challenging to achieve and needs to be accompanied by a fully joined up approach to cost reduction and supply chain development.
“In terms of the ban on fracking being lifted, there are some key questions that need to be asked, such as how much accessible volume of fracked gas there is, how long will it take to get into the gas network, how prices will be managed, how local support will be gained and how holistically safe it is.
“In tackling the energy crisis, it is not just about energy supply, but also a reduction in demand is needed. The simplest and quickest way to address this, is a focus on energy efficiency, as not only would this reduce our need for energy, and hence energy bills for everyone, but improved standards of home insulation are also an important enabler of transitioning from fossil fuels to heat pumps for domestic heating. Building insulation and retrofitting would give immediate energy reduction – and savings – for the public. We need to be building the capability for improving building efficiency alongside heat pumps etc.
“Throughout this plan, it’s imperative that net zero targets should be maintained – they are part of the solution and not the problem.”