Energy crisis: UK handed plan to END Putin’s stranglehold by cutting Russias cash cow

UK serves key role in saving EU from energy crisis says expert

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While Britain only gets around five percent of its gas from Russia, the integrated nature of the market means that the UK is affected by price rises in Europe. Putin has been accused of deliberately slashing Europe’s gas supplies, 40 percent of which come from Russia, in moves that sent energy prices skyrocketing. But the squeeze has been felt in the UK too, with energy suppliers going bust and the price cap (maximum tariff) set to rise by 50 percent to £2000 in April, and possibly even £3000 in October.

But Mike Foster, head of the Energy Utilities Alliance, told Express.co.uk how the UK may be able to avoid a worsening energy crisis.

He explained: “As we are approaching the summer, after a relatively mild winter, the UK could cope without Russian gas. The key challenge is not the quantity of gas we would need to source but the current market price of gas that is available.

“In the short term, the UK is unable to break the link between global gas prices and what consumers at home will be paying.

“In the medium to long term, we need to break that link and in doing so, stop Putin’s stranglehold over gas prices. Making an early announcement that the UK intends to convert its gas networks to hydrogen from natural gas, will send a clear signal of our intent.”

But instead of returning to fracking, the process of extracting shale gas from domestic reserves that was banned in 2019, Mr Foster has laid out a different exciting plan for the Prime Minister.

He said: “As a first step, the Government could legislate to allow a 20 percent blend of hydrogen to be used immediately in our gas networks.

Making that change displaces natural gas demand with hydrogen supply.

“In terms of volumes, roughly equivalent to what Russia supplies the UK now. Hard-earned UK household income would then no longer be going to fund Putin’s wars.

“Hydrogen can be produced a number of ways, including green hydrogen from windfarms; pink hydrogen from nuclear power and blue hydrogen from our own UK gas reserves, with the carbon captured and stored underground in our own disused gas fields.”

And Mr Johnson does have plans to incorporate more hydrogen into the UK energy network.

He even claimed that he can make Britain the Qatar of hydrogen.

A key part of the Prime Minister’s plan to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the hydrogen strategy details how the Government plans to scale up the hydrogen sector.

It is based on a forecast that up to 20-35 percent of the nation’s energy consumption could be met with hydrogen by 2050.

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But Mr Johnson has also been considering lifting the ban on fracking after facing calls from 34 members of his own party, who argued that Britain’s own reserves would slash the need for expensive imports.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss also backs lifting the ban.

But Mr Foster does not seem to think this will work as well as his plan.

He said: “Fracking, in theory, could source gas from the UK to displace Russian gas but it is untested in the UK and unlikely to be relevant in the short term.

“A far quicker way to achieve this would be to embark upon a major energy efficiency drive in UK homes, reducing bills for consumers and reducing gas demand from abroad.

“Rather than subsidise 30,000 middle-income families to buy a heat pump, costing the taxpayer £150 million a year, that money could insulate 500,000 homes instead. That should be the priority.”

And Mr Foster laid out exactly how Mr Johnson can execute the plan.

He told Express.co.uk: “The PM could back up his promise to “take a big punt on hydrogen” by doing the following:- legislate to allow hydrogen blending in the gas networks immediately, rather than 2023.”

He added that Mr Johnson could “bring forward plans to fit hydrogen-ready boilers in all UK homes from 2026, the boiler manufacturers have already committed to supply them at the same price as natural gas boilers”.

Mr Johnson could also “announce a Contract for Difference type scheme to fast-track and guarantee UK production of green hydrogen”.

Mr Foster concluded: “Then, and only then, could he claim the UK is a world-leader. We would stop Putin filling his coffers with cash from gas, while keeping UK consumers warm and industry moving, all while sticking to our net zero ambitions.”

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