The government has released its UK plan for cleaning up energy and confirms its departure from the EU ETS to start its own emissions trading scheme from January in its bid to tackle climate change.
This builds on the previously released Ten Point Plan and includes pledges to create 250,000 jobs, bring forward the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to 2030, and cut emissions by 230 million metric tonnes from industry, transport and buildings.
Building Back Better Means Building Back Greener
Fossil fuels such as oil currently powers almost half of our economy so there needs to be significant investment in clean energy through offshore wind farms, nuclear plants, and hydrogen technologies to achieve net zero. The plan promises to quadruple wind capacity to 40GW to power all homes, pursue a nuclear strategy through a mixture of large and small modular solutions, and deliver 5GW of low-carbon hydrogen.
There will also be an investment of £1 billion for the creation of ‘SuperPlaces’ to capture 10 million tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere every year.
To help achieve the seismic emission reduction target there will need to be a huge shift from gas to electricity to heat buildings and investment to ensure they are properly insulated. Gas boilers will be eradicated over the next fifteen years to more efficient lower carbon alternatives which should also lower bills. Plans are also underway to ensure all new build homes will be zero carbon ready.
From 2030 the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned and replaced with cleaner vehicles such as electric. This will be supported by 2,500 high-powered charge points across England’s motorways and A-roads, increasing to 6,000 by 2035.
Further announcements are due from The Department for Transport next spring as it publishes its plan to decarbonise the entire transport system.
Manufacturing and refineries account for 16 per cent of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions so they will need to decarbonise considerably by 2030. This will be gained from better building performance and industrial processes, switching to low carbon technologies, and capturing their carbon for onward storage. The government will be publishing an Industrial Decarbonising Strategy next spring which will set out details on how it will support the decarbonising of the sector.
Almost half a million people are employed in the low carbon economy across the UK with another 250,000 new jobs expected from these measures, many right in the industrial heartlands. These are expected to span across new clean energy generation and carbon capture storage projects and a nationwide retrofit programme to replace the traditional gas boilers with new clean heat technology.
The Energy Whitepaper can be downloaded here