UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

10/07/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/07/2021 07:37

Plans unveiled to decarbonise UK power system by 2035

  • UK commits to decarbonise electricity system by 2035
  • home-grown, green technologies such as offshore wind and nuclear energy will support the UK to transition away from reliance on fossil fuels
  • it comes ahead of the publication of the government's net zero strategy as the UK prepares to host the UN COP26 climate summit later this month

Plans to ensure that Britain's homes and businesses are powered by affordable, clean and secure electricity by 2035 have been unveiled by the government.

A landmark commitment to decarbonise the UK's electricity system by 2035, was confirmed this week by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, to help boost the country's efforts in achieving its net zero ambitions. This will focus on building a secure, home-grown energy sector that reduces reliance on fossil fuels and exposure to volatile global wholesale energy prices.

It brings forward by 15 years the government's commitment to a fully decarbonised power system by 2050, set out in the Energy White Paper, and builds on the Prime Minister's 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution to secure a future clean electricity supply, that's generated in the UK, for the UK.

To ensure this ambition becomes a reality, the government will double down on efforts to deploy a new generation of home-grown technologies - from offshore wind, hydrogen and solar, to nuclear, onshore wind and Carbon Capture and Storage.

These green technologies will use the wealth of Britain's natural resources to deliver cleaner, cheaper power, and create thousands of new high- skilled jobs in new industries across the UK.

Business & Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

Our plan to move to clean energy and a carbon-neutral economy means new kinds of jobs in new kinds of industries. The world needs the innovation and entrepreneurial genius of British companies for this transition to succeed.

Recent volatile gas prices have also demonstrated how the way to strengthen Britain's energy security, ensure greater energy independence and protect household energy budgets in the long-term is through clean power that is generated in this country for the people of this country.

We need to reduce our emissions and meet increased demand whilst ensuring the system remains reliable and affordable.

While gas generation continues to play a critical role in keeping the UK electricity system secure and stable, the development of clean energy technologies means it will be used less frequently in the future.

To ensure a clean electricity system is reliable, wind and solar power will need to be complemented by other clean technologies, such as nuclear and flexible technologies, that can supply electricity or reduce demand when the output from wind and solar generation is low.

The government will set out further details on its wider plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, through its net zero strategy, which will be published ahead of the UK playing host to the UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Additional information

  • between 1990 and 2019, emissions fell by 44% while GDP rose by 76.4%, with the UK decarbonising faster than any other G20 country since 2000
  • in 2019, greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation were down 12% on 2018 levels and 71% lower than 1990 levels
  • the share of low-carbon electricity generation has risen to 59.3% in 2020, with renewables at a record 43.1%
  • the amount of renewable capacity connected to the grid has increased from 8GW in 2009 to 48GW at the end of June 2021, an increase of 500%