In the light of rising global energy prices amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the UK Government has released a bold new plan to gain energy independence. Being termed as the ‘Energy Security Strategy’, it aims to increase the renewable energy production capacity to support green initiatives and double the low-carbon hydrogen production target from 5 GW to 10 GW. When the hydrogen strategy was first released in August 2021, many in the industry argued that the targets were not ambitious enough and should be raised in order to attract larger investments. The UK Government has finally scaled-up the hydrogen production capacity to 10 GW, half of which is to be completely green which means that 50% would be from renewables whereas 50% would be from the rest of the sources. The strategy aims to develop 24 GW of nuclear capacity by 2050 and 50 GW of wind capacity by 2030, out of which 5 GW will be from floating offshore wind. The UK Government has also targeted to increase the current 14 GW of the solar capacity goal up to five times by 2035. Due to this strategy, the UK Government will be able to generate 12,000 jobs by 2030 in its hydrogen industry, which is 3,000 more than what was previously expected. Raising the hydrogen production target would reduce the country’s dependence on such power sources that are exposed to volatile international prices that cannot be controlled. It will not only provide cleaner energy for the British industries to move away from expensive fossil fuels, but could also be used for cleaner power, transport and heating industries. Ramping up hydrogen production will also cut down the carbon emissions and boost energy security simultaneously.
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