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If the UK produced more electricity than we used in 2022, why are we paying so much?

For the first time in 44 years, the UK became a net exporter of electricity and sold 10 TWh of electricity to France. (1)

While we generate more electricity than we use the cost of the electricity to the end consumer is now higher than it has ever been resulting in a cost-of-living crisis. Why is this?

The cost of electricity in our homes is still being dictated by the costs of fossil fuel generation, even though electricity produced by wind farms and low carbon sources is cheaper than using fossil fuels. (2)

Low Carbon energy sources account for over 50% of our total production with fossil fuels now only 46%. (3)

The United Kingdom has set ambitious targets to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a low-carbon economy. One key aspect of this transition is theDax Parsons quotation widespread adoption of heat pumps and electric vehicles (EVs).

Commitment to sustainable living

People will not commit to relying solely on electricity for their cars and heating until a sustainable source, at reasonable cost, is in place. Data shows that low carbon sources of energy, particularly renewable energy production, should reduce the cost of electricity to the end customer.

In Autumn of 2022, major electricity companies were testing systems and warning of the possibilities of blackouts, with some companies running ‘Blackout busting’ tests to counter the problem. This seems ridiculous given that we are generating more than enough electricity!

Is a factor that the Government is not focusing on renewable energy partly due to the vast amounts of money lobbied by the Oil and gas giants? (5)(6)

Then we must ask the question as to whether the interest of the Government is to reduce the carbon emissions to zero by 2050 or is it to stay in power by appeasing the industry that lines the pockets of the current party in power.

Could another factor be that 20% of the UK electricity generation comes from the French company, EDF? (6) If the excess energy that we are producing in the UK is being sold to France to cover their demand it would be in EDF’s interest that the UK people cover the bulk of the cost.

In conclusion, the UK Government need to focus on implementing more renewable energy sources and ensuring that the savings made by low-cost energy production is passed on to consumers. This in turn will help reverse the cost-of-living crisis while also aid the UK in its effort to reach carbon zero by 2050 by encouraging the uptake of Electric Vehicles and Heat Pump systems.

Author: Dax Parsons, General Manager

SOURCES
1. https://images.theconversation.com/files/504438/original/file-20230113-21-73mhi8.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=754&h=545&fit=crop&dpr=1
2. https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-record-low-uk-offshore-wind-cheaper-than-existing-gas-plants-by-2023/
3. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1126161/Energy_Trends_December_2022.pdf
4. https://octopus.energy/press/blackout-busters-octopus-energy-customers-could-make-100-whilst-helping-end-power-cuts/
5. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/feb/20/lobbyists-for-oil-and-gas-companies-shell-bp-exxonmobil
6. https://weownit.org.uk/company/edf-energy#:~:text=EDF%20Energy%20%7C%20We%20Own%20It,20%25%20of%20the%20UK’s%20energy.

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