The Energy White Paper - A greener future

The much-anticipated Energy White Paper was published, December 2020 by the UK Government and sets out more details to accompany the Ten-Point Plan announced by the prime minister and the commitment to be net-zero by 2050.

The Ten-Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, National Infrastructure Strategy and Energy White Paper are a road map to making this journey, achievable and affordable and set out the steps to cut emission from industry, transport, and buildings by 230 million metric tonnes, the equivalent of removing 7.5 million petrol cars from the roads.

Summarising, the paper makes the following key commitments:

· Across the UK almost half a million people are already employed in the low-carbon economy and its supply chains. The government’s plans will start by supporting 90,000 jobs across the UK in this Parliament, and up to 250,000 by 2030.

· Reviewing domestic supplier switching, and trialling auto-switching to “loyalty penalties” for dis-engaged consumers.

· A new UK carbon trading platform started from 1st January 2021, to be known as the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) replacing the current EYU model

· New financing options and, in some cases investment, for nuclear, hydrogen and carbon capture storage, this could include the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model.

· Confirming the commitment to deliver 40GW of offshore wind by 2030.

· Around £1.3 billion in funding to support the roll-out of electric vehicle charging points, as well as £1 billion to support EV’s themselves.

· A £6.7 billion support programme for fuel poor families, in addition to the Warm Home Discount, which will give 750,000 households £150 off their bills each winter.

· Switching to clean boilers, fossil fuel boilers will gradually be replaced, with all new heating systems to be low carbon or a convertible equivalent by the mid-2030s.

· Supporting the oil and gas sectors and affected communities as the country moves away from fossil fuel production.

There is still further detail to come out with much of the content of the paper previously announced and low-carbon commitments in strategy papers published already.

Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Today’s plan establishes a decisive and permanent shift away from our dependence on fossil fuels, towards cleaner energy sources that will put our country at the forefront of the global green industrial revolution.

“Through a major programme of investment and reform, we are determined to both decarbonise our economy in the most cost-effective way, while creating new sunrise industries and revitalising our industrial heartlands that will support new green jobs for generations to come.

“At every step of the way, we will place affordability and fairness at the heart of our reforms – unleashing a wave of competition so consumers get the best deals possible on their bills, while protecting the vulnerable and fuel poor with additional financial support.

“With this long-term plan, we are turning climate ambition into climate action – putting the UK firmly on the course to net zero to end our contribution to climate change as we build back greener.”

We certainly believe these are steps in the right direction that need to be followed up with further policy and direction ensuring all businesses and communities are engaged.

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