By Paul Homewood
A rather dopey article, which is no more than a plug for the renewable lobby:
THE UK’S incredible green energy capabilities could allow it to replace Russia as a major energy exporter to the EU, Express.co.uk can exclusively reveal.
Europe is currently reeling from a major crisis, with many analysts pointing fingers at Russia as low amounts of gas flowing through from the country led to wholesale prices skyrocketing. Russian President Vladimir Putin is accused of deliberately slashing Europe’s gas supplies to speed up the approval of the Nord Stream 2. Nord Stream 2 is a new pipeline that will transit gas from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea, bypassing Poland and Ukraine on its route.
Moscow has already slashed the volumes of gas travelling into the bloc through its vast network of pipelines, sending EU prices soaring to record highs.
Greg Jackson, the CEO of Octopus Energy believes that renewable energy, which is now cheaper than fossil fuels, could turn the UK into a major electricity exporter.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “Renewable energy was cheaper before the fossil fuel crisis.
“Electricity generated from wind and Sun is cheaper than electricity generated from gas.
“That means that the more renewable energy we build, the cheaper it gets.”
According to Mr Jackson, 15 percent of a typical household’s electricity consumption is currently from renewable sources.
He said: “What that speaks to is our opportunity to transition so much more of our renewable energy into electricity and to drive costs down while we do it.
“Octopus has £3.5billion worth of electricity generation, and we think Octopus alone will need about £20billion of electricity over the next decades to meet these needs.
He added: “For the UK, wind-powered electricity can be a great export as well.
“The more wind generation we got, we have big cables that connect us to France and Norway and we’ll be able to sell the electricity we generate.
“The energy we can export is clean green electricity.
“When we build wind generation here, we use the electricity domestically and when we got spare electricity we can sell it.”
If the UK became a major energy exporter, it would be in the prime position to supplant Russia, which currently provides for 40 percent of the EU’s energy needs through natural gas.
Supplant Russian gas? Clearly neither the Express or Mr Jackson have bothered to do any sums!
So let’s help them.
In 2019, the EU (incl UK) consumed 470 bcm of natural gas, according to Statista:
Excluding the UK, the figure drop to 391 bcm, which equates to 3820 TWh. This is a third higher than the EU’s total electricity consumption of 2892 TWh. About half of that gas came from Russia.
And as we know here, gas consumption peaks much higher in winter, up to about 530 TWh/month. This is equivalent to 746 GW:
In reality, intra-day peaks are even higher. Bearing in mind that we currently have 11 GW of offshore wind capacity, and are targeting 40 GW, I don’t think that will make a dent in Europe’s energy mix, even assuming we have any to spare.
Jackson comments that “when we have got spare electricity we can sell it”. Does he really think that Europe will be happy to shiver in the cold, just waiting for a windy day? Does he think that electricity can be stored in the same way gas is?
Then of course there is the question of inter-connector capacity, which is about 4GW at the moment to mainland Europe. Even if we have oodles of spare electricity, there will be very little capacity to actually export it. And who does Mr Jackson think will end up paying for any extra connector capacity added? It certainly won’t be the wind industry!
As for wind power being cheap, maybe he should consider the fact that even at current sky high levels, the wholesale price of gas is around £60/MWh. This is still much cheaper than any currently operational offshore wind farm, which across the board average £163/MWh.
The “author” of this piece is Antony Ashkenaz, another young twerp interested in climate change, but with little journalistic or worldly experience:
I use the inverted commas deliberately, because it is painfully obvious that this is simply a puff piece, dictated by Octopus Energy.