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The leading EU member is looking to shut down its nuclear and coal power stations. However, this risks electricity shortages, which could be plugged with help from Britain’s growing renewables sector.
S&P Global Platts, which monitors global energy markets, predicted the UK will start exporting wind farm generated electricity to the EU.
Sabrina Kernbichler, the company’s European power analyst, said the UK sector was becoming “structurally longer” whilst “the whole of western Europe is moving in another direction”.
Following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, Angela Merkel’s government decided to “phase-out” Germany’s nuclear capability.
The remaining nine German nuclear power plants will cease operations next year.
In 2020, nuclear energy provided 11.4 percent of German electricity, down from nearly 30 percent in 2000.
Currently, Britain gets around seven percent of its electricity from continental Europe, but this power transfer is expected to be reversed.
According to one report in 2020, the UK generated more electricity from renewables than fossil fuels for the first time.
Thinktank Ember said 42 percent of Britain’s energy came from renewable sources, versus 41 percent for coal and gas.
This was assisted by the UK’s rapidly growing windfarms industry, which provided nearly a quarter of the nation’s power in 2020.
This is double what it was able to generate in 2015.
Coal power stations produced just two percent of the UK electricity, whilst gas-fired power plants were responsible for 37 percent.
The Government is hoping to generate 40 gigawatts by 2030 from offshore wind farms.
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This will help Britain hit its goal of becoming “net-zero” in carbon emissions by 2050.
New interconnector cables will be built under the channel so more power can be sold to Europe.
The Daily Telegraph reported the UK’s export capacity to Europe will increase to 18 gigawatts by 2030, an increase on the current eight gigawatts figure.
However, as power demand is projected to double by 2050, it is unclear whether Britain will remain an electricity exporter for long.
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There are proposals for the UK to import renewable energy from France and Scandinavia, to help hit the 2050 carbon neutral target.
Ember programme leader Charles Moore said Britain is making rapid progress in boosting renewables.
Speaking to The Guardian he said: “With Boris’s 40GW 2030 offshore wind target, gas generation is set for further rapid declines over the 2020s.
“It is clear the UK has started its journey towards gas power phase-out in 2035 as recommended by the Climate Change Committee.”
In 2015 Britain signed up to the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to limit global temperature rises to two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.
Scientists hope this will prevent potentially catastrophic damage from climate change.
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