Updated Sep 30, 2022

Britain became a net exporter of electricity for three months of this year

According to a study by Imperial College London and Drax, Britain became a net exporter of electricity for the first time in more than a decade this year.

In the second quarter of the year, the UK exported more power to Europe than ever before.

The study states that in three months, the energy exports made £1.5 billion for the country. This equated to 8% of the electricity generated within the UK (5.5TWh).

This need of energy supply was a result of Russia cutting gas supplies, and was transported by subsea interconnectors.

Dr Iain Staffel from Imperial, Lead Author of the study, said: "Britain has played an important role in helping to keep the lights on across Europe amid the deepening energy crisis which is being weaponised by Russia against our nearest neighbours".

"With Europe now facing long-term security of supply problems, there could be an economic argument for Britain to step up investment in power production in the years ahead to build an even bigger trade surplus and protect our nation from damaging energy shortages".

Norway was also a net exporter of energy to Europe, thanks to its pumped hydro energy storage supply, which the researchers stress the UK should look to invest more heavily in.

Ian Kinnaird from Drax said: "Britain desperately needs a new generation of pumped storage hydro plants to strengthen its own energy security, but it is clear the rest of Europe would benefit as well".

"We have the opportunity to become Europe’s power battery, helping our friends and neighbours reduce their dependence on energy from Russia whilst enabling more homegrown renewable electricity to power UK homes and businesses. It’s an opportunity which Britain should take, or risk being left behind by other countries".

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