Race against time: ‘UK must unlock 70GW of renewable power by 2030’

The UK will need to speed up grid buildout by at least three years and build two SMRs to be energy secure by 2030, according to a new report

The UK will need to unlock an additional 70GW of renewable power and speed up grid buildout by at least three years to be energy secure by 2030, on top of the 40GW of renewable power already available.

That’s according to industry experts, who also recommend building two small modular reactors to generate clean power by the end of the decade.

A new report, the Powerbook, has been launched by campaign group Britain Remade, proposing major changes to the planning system to reduce paperwork and red tape, which can currently cause delays of up to 13 years to build new offshore wind farms, despite the actual construction taking only two to three years.

Building new offshore wind farms must be accelerated to just five and a half years, while new onshore wind turbines must take just four and a half years to be operational.

The group suggests large solar farms must go from concept to power generation within just 15 months to achieve the necessary additional renewable energy required for Britain to be energy secure by 2030.

Sam Richards, Founder and Campaign Director for Britain Remade, said: “Speeding up the shift to secure domestic clean energy will deliver a massive clean energy dividend of up to £1,400 for every bill payer – a vast saving for millions of people up and down the country.

“But to secure this, politicians of all stripes need to act now. Britain is the country that gave birth to the Industrial Revolution, split the atom, and built the world’s first commercial nuclear power station. There is no reason why we cannot be a clean energy superpower.”

Ed Miliband, Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero, has urged politicians to take action towards securing clean power by 2030, saying that the ambition to drive towards it can lower bills, make us more energy secure, create jobs and show global climate leadership.

Greg Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Octopus Energy, said that readily available investment for renewables is impossible to deploy in the UK due to planning and grid connection obstacles and that there is a need to increase the pace of development 20-fold, allowing faster grid connection and better community buy-in for onshore wind and solar to bring down costs and deliver good green growth.

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