Government launches post Brexit Energy White Paper

The white paper expands on Boris Johnson’s recently announced Ten Point Plan and sets out the steps needed to cut emissions from industry, transport and buildings by 230 million metric tonnes.

The Energy White Paper commits to supporting up to 220,000 Green jobs within 10 years, with roles in major power generation, carbon capture storage and hydrogen projects. In addition, a nationwide programme to retrofit homes and buildings with energy efficiency and clean heat technologies will create additional opportunity.

The Energy White Paper commits to all electricity being emission-free by 2050 and sets the country on target for an “overwhelmingly decarbonised” energy system by 2030.  It states low carbon power is a “key enabler” of the more sustainable economy of the future and notes demand for clean electricity is forecast to double in order to decarbonise the transport and heating sectors.

The government also promises to set up a UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) from 1 January 2021 to replace the current EU model. This will give busines certainty about the path forward.

The Energy White Paper reaffirms the Prime Minister’s commitment to deliver enough wind capacity to power every home in the country by 2030 – this would consist of 40GW of offshore wind, including 1GW of floating wind.  This initiative will be enhanced by investing £1 billion in carbon capture and storage (CCS) by 2030.  This investment will be spread across four low carbon industrial clusters by 2030 and at least one net zero cluster by 2040. The technology would be used to directly capture emissions from factories and other heavy industry before they enter the atmosphere. The investment is expected to drive new investment and attract new manufacturers to the UK’s industrial heartlands.

The government is keen to deploy 5GW of hydrogen production by 2030, supported by a new £240 million net zero Hydrogen Fund.  Hydrogen will accelerate road freight de-carbonisation as will a wide rollout of electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure.  This is why the Energy White Paper sets out a plan to invest £1.3 billion to accelerate the deployment of EV charging points across homes, streets and motorways, as well as another £1 billion to support the development of EVs themselves, such as funding for battery production.

Fossil fuel boilers will be gradually removed and replaced with cleaner alternatives – by the mid-2030s the government hopes that all newly installed heating systems will be low carbon models or be appliances that can be converted to a clean fuel supply.  Renewable Partnerships Ltd has already developed an immediately solution for this, assisting clients to switch to cleaner boilers in a commercially compelling way.
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