Europe ‘too dependent’ on Russian gas says von der Leyen
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Since Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, the EU has been looking for alternatives to Russian fossil fuels. For almost a year, the bloc has been reeling from an energy crisis that has only been exacerbated as Putin, who supplies the EU with 40 percent of its gas, squeezed supplies to exert pressure on the bloc.
As the bloc looks for alternatives, many are tipping renewables like wind and nuclear power to ensure energy security.
An expert has noted that the UK is in a prime position to replace Russia as a major energy exporter to the EU by developing its wind capabilities.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Zoisa North-Bond, CEO of Octopus Energy Generation, said that while in the short term, the UK Government needed to figure out a way to reduce energy bills, it also needs to plan for the long term.
She said: “Actually, into the future, we shouldn’t be afraid of building as quickly as we possibly can.
“We can absolutely be a major exporter of energy over the next decade or two.
“It’s been given attention five or six years ago, about a lot of interconnectors we have with Europe, and it would be great to see a focus on that again.
“I don’t think anyone should be afraid of building lots of renewables, particularly if we can get interconnectors with Europe in place and export them that way.”
Experts from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) have predicted that the UK could already reap the benefits of its investment in renewables, with paybacks of some £660million forecast during the current gas troubles and up to £26billion possible in a future crisis.
Ms North-Bond predicted that by 2040, the UK could produce about 40 gigawatts (GW) of energy from offshore wind, and a further 35 GW from onshore wind.
She continued: “So you’re looking at an additional 75 GW capacity, which would be amazing.
“When it comes to offshore wind, we absolutely have the potential to be a leader in that across the world.
“For onshore wind, we are an island nation, and there is an abundance of wind that we can capture.
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“There is every chance that we can be a world leader in wind energy in the future. We’re really well-positioned for that. “
The researchers’ analysis has indicated that as more turbines come online and increase in cost-effectiveness, wind could end up paying back up to £6.7billion in a year in the event of another gas crisis in the near future.
This, the researchers explained, is equivalent to an annual saving of £85 per UK household.
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