Authorities warned renewables had been resolution to vitality disaster 12 months earlier than Truss fuel push

The federal government was warned renewables had been one of the best resolution to the vitality disaster a 12 months earlier than Liz Truss’s push for brand spanking new oil and fuel initiatives, new paperwork present.

A authorities briefing doc for a gathering between Enterprise Division officers and Equinor final October referenced the already record-high fuel costs internationally saying: “The long-term resolution to the worth spike is growing our home renewable technology.”

One other briefing observe for a gathering with BP in December famous that “the long-term resolution to reliance on risky fossil gasoline markets is growing our home renewable technology and transitioning away from reliance on fossil fuels”.

The paperwork had been obtained by the marketing campaign group Uplift by means of a freedom of knowledge request and shared solely withThe Unbiased.

The briefings observe that the UK will need oil and gas even because it strikes towards decreasing carbon emissions to realize web zero and one welcomes continued funding in hydrocarbon exploration and manufacturing.

Nevertheless, their recommendation that renewables are one of the best long-term resolution to the fuel worth disaster and reliance on risky fossil gasoline markets seems to be at odds with the government’s decision to lift a ban on fracking and pledge to extract “each ounce of oil and fuel from the North Sea”.

Ms Truss has argued that vitality coverage over the previous many years has not centered sufficient on securing provide, and has pledged to make the UK a web vitality exporter by ramping up oil and fuel manufacturing, in addition to the deployment of renewable and nuclear vitality. She has described this provide challenge as one of many root causes of excessive costs.

Nevertheless, specialists have repeatedly stated there isn’t a proof drilling for shale fuel in England and extracting fuel from the North Sea would have a significant influence on the worldwide worth of fuel that has soared within the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Government ministers are among those to level out that UK fuel manufacturing is small and that world costs set UK costs.

Beginning fracking manufacturing and North Sea mining websites would additionally take years, additional locking the UK into fossil fuels, exacerbating the local weather disaster and probably creating stranded property that the taxpayer must pay to decommission,campaigners warn.

Tessa Khan, director of Uplift, which campaigns for a fossil-free UK, stated the paperwork confirmed that the federal government is aware of the answer to the vitality disaster is to get the nation off fossil fuels with renewables, which at the moment are 9 occasions cheaper than fuel.

“So, why is it promising this week to quick observe new oil and fuel developments and licence new fields, which can solely lock us into an unaffordable and polluting supply of vitality far longer than is important?” she stated. “The one winners from this might be the profiteering vitality giants that wish to hold us hooked on fossil fuels.”

Fracking was paused in 2019 following concern about earthquakes in Lancashire. Liz Truss’s authorities then formally lifted the moratorium on 22 September.

The federal government introduced final week that Cambo oil and gas field and four others were among 138 projects to be accelerated underneath its new mini-Funds.

However the prime minister’s claims that fuel from fracking may move in six months have been called into doubt – with one firm estimating it may take so long as 18 months.

Associates of the Earth’s head of coverage, Mike Childs stated the paperwork raised “critical questions” concerning the prime minister’s vitality technique.

“BEIS officers are clear {that a} continued reliance on fossil fuels shouldn’t be the reply to rising vitality costs, but this authorities has simply given the inexperienced gentle to fracking and extra North Sea fuel and oil licences,” he stated.

Whereas Mr Childs welcomed the federal government announcement on Friday that it was easing planning guidelines for on-shore wind, he stated Liz Belief should “finish the obsession with new fossil gasoline developments and prioritise low-cost homegrown renewables and a nationwide insulation programme”.

Demonstrators participate in a protest march from Victoria station to Parliament Sq., in London, on July 23, 2022 to demand motion over the price of dwelling disaster and the local weather change disaster.

Adrian Ramsay, co-leader of the Inexperienced Get together, stated BEIS officers had been “completely” proper that the answer to hovering fuel costs was growing renewable vitality and that ministers ought to “urgently” translate this into coverage.

The government’s new policies had been introduced as campaigners stepped up opposition to creating a serious oil and fuel discipline northwest of Shetland. If given the go-ahead by the federal government, Rosebank discipline may produce almost 500 million barrels making it thrice greater than the controversial Cambo discipline, in line with evaluation by Uplift.

The charity estimates that almost 90 per cent of the sphere is oil and notes that round 80 per cent of the oil produced within the UK is exported.

In accordance with the undertaking abstract, the primary oil is expected to be produced in 2026, and the sphere life is estimated to be roughly 25 years, which means it nonetheless might be producing oil and fuel a 12 months after the UK has pledged to be web zero.

Oil rigs in Cromarty Firth off the coast of Scotland.

A BEIS spokesperson stated: “It is a deliberate try and misread our insurance policies.

“It’s a undeniable fact that there’ll proceed to be ongoing demand for oil and fuel over the approaching years as we transition to cleaner, decrease carbon vitality – sourcing fuel domestically within the North Sea makes us much less depending on overseas imports and produces lower than half the carbon footprint of imported fuel.”

The spokesperson stated the federal government was additionally producing extra renewable vitality.

“Since 2010, we’ve delivered a 500% enhance within the quantity of renewable vitality capability linked to the grid.”

A spokesperson for Equinor stated the corporate was contributing to the UK’s vitality safety by supplying pure fuel and it had sped up its renewable vitality plans with the event of the world’s largest wind farm and aimed to be web zero by 2050.

But it surely added there would nonetheless be a necessity for oil and fuel for many years and stated  Rosebank may account for round 11 per cent of the UK’s oil manufacturing by means of the 2030s serving to cut back the UK’s oil and fuel commerce deficit.

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