Press

A change of direction – but the destination remains the same

           Press

[London, April 07th] — The government has today confirmed a raft of measures to improve UK energy security whilst maintaining progress towards Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Balancing energy security, cost and environmental objectives is always difficult, but the Ukraine crisis has shifted the balance dramatically.  Concerns about Russian gas supplies have led to record high energy prices and an increased risk of interruptions to supply.  Price rises have been severe for all consumers, but especially so for business users who are unprotected by a price cap and more directly exposed to changes in wholesale energy prices.

The government’s strategy to address these problems includes a massive expansion in wind generation, and in the longer term an ambitious programme of new nuclear power stations, to reduce dependence on imported fuel supplies and drive down carbon emissions.

In the short term, however, there will have to be an increase in UK oil and gas production to help reduce dependence on imported supplies from Russia.  The UK is less dependent on Russian fuels than most European countries but is part of a wider European gas and power market and indirectly exposed to the problems experienced by its neighbours.

UK oil and gas production had been expected to decline in line with the country’s Net Zero ambitions, although gas was always expected to play a significant role during the transition.  This remains the long-term ambition, but the acute near term need for access to non-Russian supplies has necessitated a change in direction.  Increased production will eventually improve security of supply and put downward pressure on prices.  But in the meantime, consumers will need to brace themselves for prices to remain high.

Commenting on the announcement Jeremy Nicholson, Alfa Energy Group’s Corporate Affairs Officer, said:

“Action is needed on all fronts to ensure UK energy users have access to secure, affordable supplies.  That means more low carbon renewables, nuclear, energy storage and big improvements in energy efficiency.  In the short-term, it also means more oil and gas production to help reduce European dependence on Russian supplies.

“This is not a change of destination.  We are still aiming for Net Zero, but the route we take to get there has to be adjusted to reflect the current, very difficult circumstances.”

 

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Jeremy Nicholson
Corporate Affairs Officer, Alfa Energy Group

Jeremy Nicholson is Alfa Energy Group’s Corporate Affairs Officer. Prior to his current role, he was Director of the Energy Intensive Users’ Group, which campaigns for secure, competitive energy supplies for UK industry. He trained as a civil engineer, specialising in infrastructure and regulatory projects for utilities and their regulators before joining the EIUG as an economic adviser in 2000. He is a former board member of IFIEC Europe (the International Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers) and member of Ofgem’s Sustainable Development Advisory Group, and a Fellow of the Energy Institute.

If you would like more information about this topic or to discuss any energy and sustainability related matters with Jeremy Nicholson, please contact Lisa Turner at +44 (0) 20 3994 5806, or email lisa.turner@alfaenergy.co.uk.


Alfa Energy Group

Alfa Energy Group is an international energy, water, and sustainability consultant partner with 200 employees over 4 international locations. For over 25 years, Alfa has been servicing its clients’ needs through energy and water management, sustainability, and compliance consulting, and an intuitive ecosystem of user-driven energy, water, and carbon management software platforms. With coveted awards, an international industry-wide recognition, and clever simple solutions, today Alfa is partnering with clients to establish and deliver pivotal net zero strategies. Through smart energy management, the expertise and diligence of its people, transparent processes, and data management, Alfa continues to lead through its recognised gold standard of service delivery.