Renewable industry leaders have welcomed Boris Johnson’s commitment to decarbonise the UK’s electricity grid by 2035.
The new target, unveiled to coincide with the Conservative Party conference, will require significant investment in renewable generation and nuclear. The Prime Minister said the shift would protect consumers from fluctuating import prices for oil and gas.
“The advantage of that is that it will mean that, for the first time, the UK is not dependent on hydrocarbons coming from overseas with all the vagaries in hydrocarbon prices and the risk that poses for people’s pockets and for the consumer,” he said.
“We will be reliant on our own clean power generation, which will help us also to keep costs down.”
RenewableUK's Chief Executive Dan McGrail said to make the pledge a reality, there needs to be urgent action to remove barriers to new projects.
“We need to move even faster, building more onshore and offshore wind projects without delay, as well as harnessing the full potential of innovative technologies like floating wind, renewable hydrogen and marine energy,” he said.
Greenpeace UK chief scientist Dr Doug Parr said the realisation by leaders that gas needs to be taken out of the electricity system was welcome.
“But the government remains unhealthily attached to nuclear technology, hoping against all experience that it will improve to the point where it becomes competitive with renewables.”