UK Energy Security Plan ‘does not go far enough’

energy strategy

The UK’s new Energy Security Plan is a promising start but does not go far enough to support businesses in reaching climate goals.

That’s the view of Mark Chadwick, managing director, sustainability solutions UK&I at ENGIE Impact, who says: “’The latest IPCC report confirmed the urgent need for action on climate change, and the UK Government’s new Energy Security Plan is a promising start, but does not go far enough to give business leaders the support they need to reach their goals in the long term.

“The decision to delay announcing an industrial plan until the Autumn Budget statement is further evidence of this.

‘’It was glaringly obvious from the announcements made this month that there isn’t a holistic strategy to achieve net zero by 2050 – with a long-term plan for energy efficiency rollout and financing overlooked in favour of carbon capture and storage.

“The decision to invest in nuclear energy instead of support mechanisms for renewables and decongesting the grid connection process should be reconsidered, as both are required to reach net zero. It takes a long time for nuclear to be built and there have been several delays as evidenced in the UK and France.

‘’Renewable energy, specifically solar and wind, should be a priority in scaling up efforts. In many parts of the world, solar and wind energy are now the cheapest ways to produce energy, making them the obvious choices in terms of economic viability.

“This means that investments in renewable energy not only have environmental benefits, but also significant economic benefits. This should be at the forefront of any and all plans that hope to help the UK become a net zero economy in the foreseeable future.’’

New multi-billion pound measures announced by the government include:

World leading commitment to Carbon Capture Usage and Storage. The first projects will be announced to progress to the next stage of the negotiations to rollout the first Carbon Capture clusters in our industrial heartlands. The round for areas to apply for two additional future clusters has also been launched and there will be an opportunity for further projects to be added to the first two clusters. These announcements build on the £20 billion CCUS funding.

Kickstarting investment into the UK’s emerging floating offshore wind industry by launching the £160m fund to support port infrastructure projects, securing the UK’s leadership in this new technology. 

Backing the first tranche of new green hydrogen production projects under the £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund as part of development of this new power source.

Opening the fifth round of the UK’s world-leading scheme to incentivise investment in renewable electricity, backed by a budget of £205 million. Now being held annually, Contracts for Difference will build on the UK levy-funded support for renewable power since 2010 of around £80bn.

Announcing that Great British Nuclear, will initially be led by Simon Bowen as interim Chair and Gwen Parry-Jones OBE as interim Chief Executive Officer: with GBN’s first job to launch a new competition to select the best Small Modular Reactor technologies – one of the most advanced nuclear power technologies in the world – for development by Autumn. 

Speeding up the planning process to attract investment – reforming the planning process to enable the building of more energy infrastructure including solar power and offshore wind projects more quickly. 

Cutting household bills by expanding Government energy efficiency support to even more households – The Great British Insulation Scheme, a rebranded ECO+, will upgrade 300,000 of the country’s least energy efficient homes. 

Investing more than £380 million into boosting EV charging points and infrastructure across the country to support the rollout of electric vehicles

Reducing reliance on fossil fuels to heat our buildings – a new £30 million Heat Pump Investment Accelerator is designed to leverage £270 million private investment to boost manufacturing and supply of heat pumps in the UK. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which offers a £5,000 grant to anyone buying a heat pump, will be extended to 2028. 

Providing UK Export Finance with an extra £10 billion capacity to boost exports including from the UK’s world leading clean growth sectors.

Building a stable environment for businesses to invest and grow in the transition to electric vehicles and sustainable aviation fuel. 

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