UK faces stg 60bn wind bill and growing risk of reliance on energy imports – report

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The Pitstone Windmill is seen at sunset, Ivinghoe, Britain February 26, 2021. REUTERS/Matthew Childs

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LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) – As Britain is among Western countries scrambling to find alternatives to Russian energy, an industry group has warned the country needs major energy investment offshore wind turbine and risked becoming even more dependent on energy imports as its own oil and gas. supplies are dwindling.

Some 60 billion pounds ($79 billion) is needed if Britain is to meet its target of quadrupling its offshore wind power capacity to 40 gigawatts by 2030, according to a report by industry association Offshore Energies UK. (OEUK), formerly Oil and Gas UK.

The government has not released a cost for its offshore wind targets.

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“Energy security is now a matter of national security. Our policymakers must plan not just for the next election, but also for decades to come,” said OEUK CEO Deirdre Michie.

“Offshore wind, the most efficient form of renewable energy to date…requires significant investment if its expansion is to continue,” the group said, noting that 3,000 new offshore wind turbines would be needed to reach the goal.

OIL AND GAS

OEUK has also warned that Britain’s declining oil and gas production puts the country at even greater risk of reliance on energy imports.

UK oil and gas production is expected to fall 15% a year without rapid investment, increasing Britain’s import dependency by 2030 to 80% of its gas and 70% of its oil demand, OEUK said.

The government is currently reworking its energy security strategy aimed at reducing its dependence on imported energy in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Still, the OEUK noted that investment in Britain’s oil and gas sector is expected to fall to around 4 billion pounds ($5.2 billion) this year, from around 16 billion pounds in 2014.

“The causes are varied, but the complex regulatory environment in the UK, as well as political disagreements around issues such as climate change and windfall taxes, are all factors that discourage investment,” he said. .

Norway is currently Britain’s largest gas supplier, ahead of British supplies from the North Sea.

Britain could once rely on its own oil and gas fields to fuel its power stations, fuel its cars and heat its homes, but it has been a net importer of energy since 2005, with North Sea production having decreases.

Britain depends on energy imports

($1 = 0.7642 pounds)

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Reporting by Shadia Nasralla and Susanna Twidale; edited by Jason Neely

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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