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Renewable energy can displace gas power within 5 years say RenewableUK

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RenewableUK is submitting a new plan to UK Government outlining how renewable energy can effectively end our dependence on gas within 5 years, by replacing gas with new renewable power, protecting consumers against rising energy costs and accelerating our actions against climate change.

Given the soaring energy prices, the renewable energy sector is keen to work closely with Government to ensure that new clean energy projects are commissioned and fossil fuel use is reduced as quickly as possible. 

Measures within the Renewable Energy Response Plan include:

  • An increase in the amount of new renewable capacity being secured in this year’s auction for contracts to generate clean power, by removing the limit imposed on the amount of onshore wind capacity and raising the budget available for offshore wind.
  • Streamlining and speeding up the planning process for renewable energy projects, with the planning regime in England needing urgent reform, given that current laws effectively prohibit new projects from going ahead.
  • New grid investment, to bring forward new projects more quickly, and address the huge disparities in the way renewable energy generators are charged for using the grid.
  • Revised rules for grid-scale batteries
  • More urgent focus on innovative technologies, such as green hydrogen systems. According to the report, 5GW of renewable hydrogen could replace 5% of total UK gas demand by 2030.

RenewableUK’s CEO Dan McGrail said:

“With the rocketing global cost of gas continuing to push up energy bills, Government and industry need to work together to cut our reliance on gas to generate electricity as quickly as possible and I believe we can do that within five years. We can start on this by doubling down on what we can get in this year’s clean power auctions, to protect consumers from global price shocks in the future.

“If we remove the cap on cheap onshore wind and solar capacity in this auction, then shovel-ready projects could be generating power by next year. And we risk being penny-wise but pound-foolish if we don’t take this opportunity to invest a small amount extra in offshore wind for a huge payback to consumers, alongside growing our domestic supply chain. 

“And we can’t have a new energy strategy without a plan for grid investment alongside it. National Grid needs the freedom to invest more in accelerating the transformation of our energy system, to make the most of the huge amounts of renewable electricity we’re generating.”

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