London (26 Apr. 2022) — John Goddard, Senior Partner & Vice Chair, Sustainability, L.E.K. Consulting said:
“The energy security crisis provides an opportunity to accelerate UK’s independence and delivery of the energy transition. Fast tracking increases in renewables makes total sense but onshore wind and solar should be further prioritised. More renewables requires grid stabilisation through baseload sources with gas together with carbon capture and nuclear having to play a role. Small nuclear is an exciting opportunity for the UK domestically and internationally. Carbon capture is chronically under invested in globally and must be a greater priority. Longer term green hydrogen can play a grid balancing role but blue hydrogen is really only an alternative to gas and carbon capture. Energy efficiency needs to be addressed far more urgently than currently positioned.
Radically changing the UK energy’s mix to deal with security issues and deliver net zero is complicated and requires clear and joined up thinking which is not apparent in the statement today. For electricity balancing increased renewables penetration with greener base load sources is a key issue – gas with carbon capture and nuclear can play this role. Green hydrogen can play this role but blue hydrogen is really only suited to industrial applications which cannot justify their own carbon capture facilities.
UK plans eight new nuclear reactors to boost production this is absolutely what is required to meet the baseload or always-on energy requirement. Small nuclear is an exciting opportunity for the UK with Rolls-Royce leading technology development in this area. Britain can become a global leader.
Energy efficiency should be further prioritised. Currently, 21% of UK GHGs emanate from heating and cooling residential and commercial buildings. With a goal to cut by at least half by 2035, there remains significant work to align planners, contractors, owners and tenants to greater efficiency emphasis.“
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