The Energy White Paper builds on the Prime Minister’s ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution. The white paper released by the UK Government addresses the transformation of our energy system, promoting high-skilled jobs and clean, resilient economic growth as we deliver net-zero emissions by 2050. As well as detailing steps to deliver “overwhelmingly decarbonised power in the 2030s”, with a new £6.7bn support scheme to be set up to tackle fuel poverty and a UK variant of the Emissions Trading Scheme to be introduced.
The Energy White Paper has been delayed numerous times throughout 2020, but the Government finally detailed what the strategy entails on 14th December. It builds on the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution and the National Infrastructure Strategy in outlining how the nation plans to change its power and heating systems to support the net-zero emissions target for 2050.
Within the White Paper it includes a £6.7bn support system for fuel poor households that will run for six years. The package has been designed to help save families in old inefficient homes up to £400 annually.
The Government outlined that the new Warm Home Discount Scheme which would come into effect in 2026 and will be introduced to provide better energy to cover 750,000 UK householders by giving them £150 off of electricity bills each winter. The White Paper also confirmed that the £2bn Green Homes Grant announced in the summer will be extended by a further year, meaning that scheme will end on the 31st March 2022, enabling enough time for all installations to be complete in time.
Additionally, installations of electric heat pumps are scheduled to grow from around 30,000 per year to more than 600,000 by 2038. The White Paper also raises ambitions on industrial clusters, pledging to deliver four low-carbon clusters by 2030 and at least one net-zero variant by 2040.
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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.”
The White Paper touches on numerous sectors in the UK and is designed to support up to 220,000 jobs in the next decade across infrastructure, hydrogen, and carbon capture. All non-domestic rented buildings, for example, will have to be at Energy Performance Certificate Band B by 2030.
The White Paper reiterates previous Government commitments, notably to establish 40GW of offshore wind capacity and to invest £1bn in carbon capture technologies.
As for hydrogen, the White Paper refers to NIS, which confirmed the £240m Net-Zero Hydrogen Fund that will help to support both “blue” hydrogen produced through CCS and “green” hydrogen from electrolysis. It also explains that the Government expects all new heating systems installed by the mid-2030s to be low carbon, with systems such as ground and air source heat pumps.
The Government have also stated they will work with North Sea oil and gas firms to help staff and communities mitigate the transition away from fossil fuels and instead use renewable energy.
In addition, the White Paper confirms that a UK Emissions Trading Scheme will be established from 1 January 2021 to replace the current EU variant. No decision as of yet has been made on “preferred linking partners” for the scheme.
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Read to full publication of the Energy White Paper, by clicking Here