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UK energy policy since the 2008 Energy Act through to July 2015 has been built around reducing CO emissions rather than security of supply or cost.
In 2010-11 the price of renewable energy certificates doubled the price or electricity from those sources – an increasing proportion, including imports – more than one-quarter.
However, in April 2014 the second unit converted to biomass was denied similar investment contract support, leaving it to recoup costs from Renewables Obligation Certificates (at 0.9 ROC/MWh; the average ROC price in May 2014 was about £41.70) plus the wholesale power price – about £50/MWh. However, the government offered an investment contract with price guarantee for the third Drax unit (see also UK section in the Energy Subsidies information paper).
Each Drax unit burning biomass uses about 4 million tonnes of imported wood pellets per year.
Per capita UK electricity consumption was about 4650 k Wh in 2015.
In 2015, 45% of the UK's gas was from domestic production, primarily in the North Sea.
Net electricity imports – mostly nuclear – were 17.5 TWh, comprising 9.7 TWh from France, 7.3 TWh from the Netherlands, and 0.5 TWh net was exported to Ireland. A further 2000 MW connection to Normandy was approved in September 2016 to enable the import of French nuclear power from 2022.
The remaining 17% was imported in liquefied form on tankers, mainly from Qatar.There are plans for a new fleet of nuclear power stations, including at Wylfa and Moorside.It also means exploring new opportunities like small modular reactors, which hold the promise of low cost, low carbon energy." This was reinforced in July 2017 with the National Grid’s update of Future Energy Scenarios.In the light of projected peak demand of 85 GWe by 2050, its main scenario called for 14.5 GWe of new nuclear plant online by 2035, and nuclear supplying 31% of demand in 2050.Different scenarios concerning electric vehicles increase peak demand by 6 GWe, 11 GWe or 18 GWe by 2050 depending on when the majority are charged, and assuming 7 k W charging (30 amps).