Updated Oct 13, 2021

UK electricity decarbonisation by 2035

The government has set out a commitment to decarbonise the UK electricity system by 2035 by building a home-grown energy sector that no longer relies on fossil fuels. The original plan published in December 2020 was to ensure the electricity sector was emission-free and fully decarbonised by 2050, meaning the new plan brings the target forward by 15 years.

To ensure this happens, the government will focus efforts on electricity production in the UK from offshore wind, hydrogen, solar, nuclear, onshore wind and carbon capture and storage. By investing in green technology, it will hopefully provide jobs in the clean energy sector as well as produce cheaper and cleaner power.

Announcing the new plan, Business and 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."

Whilst this is an ambitious plan, it is a most welcome one. Recent announcements by climate scientists have made it clear that we need to act immediately to reduce our impact on climate or face serious consequences in the future. Bringing forward a plan to decarbonise the electricity sector by 15 years will no doubt be a significant help.

Further details on wider plans to achieve net-zero emissions across the UK by 2050 will be published by the government before the UN COP26 summit in Glasgow in November.