The United Kingdom (Britain) which includes the countries of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland which has a population of approximately 68.70 million people. In 2021, 100% of the people in this country located off the northwest coast of mainland Europe had access to electricity.
In 2021, the Britain’s economy was ranked 6th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of cars, packaged medicaments, gas turbines, air craft parts, gold, silver, and liquor.
In 2016, Britain as a member of the European Union (EU) signed the “Paris Climate Agreement”. The EU committed to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emission by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
In 2017, Britain enacted the Clean Growth Strategy which put energy technology and innovation at the center of its decarbonization policy. The government’s strategy makes the development of new offshore wind and marine power projects a high priority.
In 2020; Britain officially exited the E.U. also known as “Brexit.” However, Britain will still remain a signatory to the Paris Agreement.
In 2021, utilities used natural gas (41.4 %), renewable energy (40.6 %), nuclear power (15.3 %), coal (2.2 %), and oil (0.5 %) to generate electricity in Britain. Wind, biomass, and solar are the primary types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Britain.
Recent renewable energy projects in Britain include:
- 1,300 MW Offshore Wind Project – In September 2022, Danish renewable energy company, Orsted commissioned the Hornsea 2 project, which is located approximately 55 miles off the coast of Yorkshire, England.
- 860 MW Offshore Wind Project – Ocean Winds, a joint venture with Portuguese utility EDP and French utility ENGIE is continuing work on the Moray West The project is located approximately 15 miles off the northeast coast of Scotland and is forecast to be commissioned in 2025.
- 714 MW Offshore Wind Project – In July 2020, Spanish utility Iberdrola Group commissioned the East Anglia ONE project, which is located approximately 27 miles off the southeast coast of England.
- 450 MW Offshore Wind Project – French utility, EDF Renewables and Irish utility ESB are continuing work on the Neart na Gaoithe project, which is located approximately 10 miles east of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2023.
- 100 MW Energy Storage Project – In August 2021, People’s Republic of China energy storage company, Sungrow commissioned an energy storage project at a site in southwest England.
- 50 MW Floating Offshore Wind Project – In October 2021, Pilot Offshore Renewables commissioned the Kincardine project, which is located approximately 15 miles off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Britain imports natural gas, crude oil, and refined petroleum for power generation, heating, and transportation. In 2021, Britain spent U.S. $22.0 Billion for natural gas imports, U.S. $17.6 Billion for crude oil imports, and U.S. $12.4 Billion in refined petroleum imports.
In 2021, Britain used fossil fuels to generate 44.1 % of the nation’s electricity. In 2021, Russia provided 27%, 24 % and 4% of Britain’s coal, refined petroleum, and natural gas, respectively.
On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, resulting in the United States, Canada, and the European Union placing embargos on Russian exports. The international price for crude oil and natural gas has increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.
On 2 September 2022, Russian energy company, Gazprom announced an indefinite shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline. The pipeline shutdown stopped all Russian natural gas exports to Europe.
Britain doesn’t have the solar potential of southern Europe nor the hydropower potential of the Scandinavian countries. However, Britain led the world in 2020 in offshore wind capacity with 10, 424 MW.
The song “Rule Britannia” proclaims that the British Empires rules the seas. Today, offshore wind is powering Britannia, not Russian fossil fuels.
Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”
Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.
 World Bank, “Access To Electricity (% Population) – United Kingdom
 Gross Domestic Product By Country 2021 – Worldometer
 The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – United Kingdom
 Carbon Brief – “2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”
 Our World In Data, United Kingdom: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser
 United Kingdom Office of National Statistics, “Trends in UK Imports and Exports of Fuels” 22 June 2022
 “Nord Stream 1: Gazprom Announces Indefinite Shutdown Of Pipeline”, The Guardian on 2 September 2022
 Statista, “Capacity of Offshore Wind Turbines in Operation in 2021,” September 21, 2021
 Poem “Rule, Britannia” written by James Thomson and set to music by Thomas Arne in 1740