UK pledges to hit all-renewable electricity by 2035

Britain draws large amount of energy from renewables, but remains heavily reliant on natural gas

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson drinks a cup of tea during a visit to a building site in Manchester, England, on Monday. Photo: Getty
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All of Britain’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2035, the Conservatives announced on Monday, saying the move would help to end the country’s reliance on imported fuel.

“The only way to strengthen Britain’s energy security is zero-carbon power that is generated in this country,” said Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK Business and Energy Secretary.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he believed the UK could make it to “complete clean energy production”, including renewable sources and nuclear power, by the middle of the next decade.

Britain draws a large amount of its energy from renewable sources such as wind and sun, and has mainly ended the use of coal power but remains heavily reliant on natural gas.

Surging gas prices worldwide are driving up energy bills for millions of people in Britain.

“It will mean that for the first time, the UK is not dependent on hydrocarbons coming from overseas, with all the vagaries in hydrocarbon prices and the risk that poses for people’s pockets,” Mr Johnson said in Manchester, where the Conservatives are holding their annual conference.

He is eager to improve Britain’s green credentials before a major UN climate summit that is due in Glasgow, Scotland, on October 31.

Mr Johnson, as host, is trying to get other world leaders to increase their carbon-cutting pledges so the world can keep global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace UK, welcomed what he called the British government’s realisation “that gas needs to be taken out of the electricity system".

Updated: October 04, 2021, 9:10 PM