ECIU Encourages More Renewables To Reduce Imports

Last updated: June 19, 2024

The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) wants the next UK government to increase supports for clean energy.

The non-profit organisation founded in 2014 believes that such steps can help lower the UK’s dependence on energy imports.

The ECIU’s report highlights how imports have increased in recent years. According to the report, this is linked to the UK’s primary dependence on oil and gas. That and the gradual reduction in the North Sea oil and gas sectors.

The report adds that approximately two-thirds of consumer-utilised energy for 2024 requires imports from abroad.

With a push toward a greener energy system being prioritised, as exampled with the UK’s goal of reaching carbon net zero by 2050, the ECIU makes a strong case for increasing domestic renewables.

Renewables do make up a sizeable share of the UK’s energy generation. For instance, according to the National Grid, in 2023, wind made up nearly 30% of the UK’s electricity generation. Biomass and solar power each contributed several percent to domestic electricity production.

However, a substantial reliance on fossil fuels persists. With UK gas production expected to drop by more than 50% come 2030 (according to the North Sea Transition Authority), this reliance will face further complications. What’s more, oil production projections suggest a drop of 40% between now and then.

Ultimately, the ECIU’s report argues in favour of prioritising domestic renewables over sustaining oil and gas production. This comes with, on the contrary, concerns for the future of oil and gas jobs in the UK.

The upcoming general election will take place on July 4th with Labour as strong favourites to secure a majority.

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The next government will face a challenge of balancing clean energy goals with employment and industry concerns that naturally come with a substantial energy transition.