Wind Powering Britannia, Not Russian Fossil Fuels

Country Overview

The United Kingdom (Britain) which includes the countries of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland is an island nation bordered by the Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, and North Sea. Britain which has a population of approximately 67.85 million people.

In 2022, 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, gold, gas turbines, packaged medicaments, and hard liquor.

Environment Policies

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, 100% of the people in Britain had access to electricity. In 2022, utilities used renewable energy (41.4%), natural gas (38.4%), nuclear power (14.6%), refined petroleum (3.8%) and coal (1.7%) to generate electricity in Britain. Wind and biomass are the dominant 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.
  • 1040 MW Energy Storage Project – British energy infrastructure developer Carlton Power is continuing work on a battery energy storage system (BESS) in the city of Manchester in northwest England. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2025.
  • 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 project. 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 2024.
  • 443 MW Onshore Wind Project – British company SSE Renewables is continuing work on the Viking Wind Farm on the Shetland Island, Scotland. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2025.
  • 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.

Conclusions

Britain imports natural gas and crude oil for power generation, heating, and transportation. In 2022, Britain imported U.S. $26.8 Billion of natural gas imports and U.S. $23.4 Billion of crude oil.

In 2022, Britain used fossil fuels to generate 43.9% of the nation’s electricity. In 2021, Russia exported 27%, 24% and 4% of Britain’s coal, refined petroleum, and natural gas, respectively. In June 2022, Britain stopped all imports of Russian fossil fuels.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices 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 offshore wind capacity in 2020 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.

 Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jack kerfoot.com

 

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, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.

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