Liz Truss is reportedly to approve a collection of oil and drilling licences within the North Sea in a bid to sort out the UK power disaster.
In line with The Instances, the Tory management front-runner intends to inexperienced mild the licences in one among her first acts as prime minister, “as a part of a long-term plan to make sure Britain’s power safety”.
The paper additionally reported that Enterprise Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, who’s extensively tipped to change into chancellor below Truss, and his anticipated substitute, Jacob Rees-Mogg, have been assembly oil and fuel corporations to barter a deal to safe power provides this winter.
Truss’s ‘two-pronged’ North Sea plan
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “has made the immense job of decreasing the worldwide economic system’s dependancy to fossil fuels much more daunting”, mentioned the Monetary Instances.
Present pledges to chop carbon emissions to internet zero by 2050 have been “already difficult sufficient”, mentioned the paper, however now “governments and firms are scrambling to stability their inexperienced ambitions with the brand new imperatives of power safety”.
Truss’s North Sea plan, which The Instances described as “a two-pronged strategy that entails securing extra fuel from Norway whereas maximising home manufacturing”, comes “towards the backdrop of a continent-wide scramble to safe fuel provides earlier than the winter, after Vladimir Putin started choking off pipeline flows amid a geopolitical standoff over his invasion of Ukraine”, mentioned The Guardian.
“The largest downside is spiking pure fuel costs,” added Overseas Coverage, with European provides costing round ten instances greater than they have been on common over the past decade and about ten instances increased than they’re within the US.
The precise downside for the UK, mentioned The Guardian, is that it “depends extra closely on fuel than most European international locations and has little or no storage after the closure of the Tough facility off the Yorkshire coast in 2017”.
Whereas boosting provides “will strengthen UK efforts to struggle off blackouts this winter and potential provide crunches”, mentioned Metropolis A.M., it’s “unlikely to tame ultra-high costs” within the rapid time period, a view which was additionally supported by The Instances.
The Home of Commons local weather change committee has beforehand mentioned it takes a mean of 28 years for an exploration licence to result in oil and fuel manufacturing, whereas the Day by day Categorical reported that “many specialists and campaigners have claimed that offering extra exploration licences is unlikely to right away ease costs because the fuel and oil can be bought on world markets”.
For instance, British oil and fuel manufacturing rose by 26% within the first six months of the yr, in accordance Offshore Energies UK, “but costs are nonetheless hovering and are solely anticipated to worsen”, mentioned the Categorical.
What about fracking?
The Telegraph reported that the present chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, is “eyeing measures to show the tide of public opinion on fracking”. That is a part of a twin strategy to offer higher incentives for buyers to again fuel tasks whereas persuading residents to assist extracting shale fuel amid considerations it contaminates the surroundings and causes earthquakes.
The paper pointed to a softening of public opinion following the spike in power costs, with assist for fracking doubling over the previous yr.
Are renewables the reply?
Plans to open up extra North Sea oil and fuel fields and finish the moratorium on fracking “are usually not precisely in step with Britain’s internet zero efforts”, mentioned Politico. They “are unlikely to go down properly with the inexperienced foyer after this summer season’s record-breaking temperatures”.
The Labour Social gathering chair, Anneliese Dodds, mentioned extra oil and drilling licences within the North Sea was not the reply, whereas Greenpeace chief UK scientist, Dr Doug Parr, warned the UK’s dependence on fuel was among the many elements driving up payments. He known as for quicker motion to advertise new wind and photo voltaic tasks, in addition to enhancing power effectivity by insulating UK houses, “that are among the many leakiest in Europe”, in response to The Guardian.
As a part of Labour’s proposals to maintain power payments frozen at their present price, the get together has additionally proposed long-term plans to insulate 19 million houses within the UK throughout the subsequent ten years.
The Telegraph reported that Treasury officers are additionally a brand new system that may break the hyperlink between the worth of low-carbon electrical energy and that of pure fuel, which “would enable power suppliers to reap the benefits of the comparatively cheaper price of electrical energy generated by wind and photo voltaic farms – and go on the financial savings to households and companies”.
But whereas renewables might properly present the long-term resolution to enhancing power safety and insulating international locations from future crises, the change to inexperienced power continues to be anticipated to take years.
Elon Musk warned it may very well be “some many years” away when he instructed an power convention in Norway on Monday that the world wanted to proceed extracting oil and fuel whereas it develops renewable power.
Claiming it’s “one of many greatest challenges the world has ever confronted”, the Telsa tycoon mentioned that “realistically I feel we have to use oil and fuel within the quick time period, as a result of in any other case civilisation will crumble”, Sky Information reported.