The UK Government has published its long-awaited Energy White Paper, which it claims will “unleash a green economic recovery by supporting up to 220,000 jobs over the next decade across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland”
Building on the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, the Energy White Paper sets out specific steps the government will take over the next decade to cut emissions by 230 million tonnes while supporting ‘hundreds of thousands of new green jobs.’
The government said it will ‘put affordability at the heart of the UK’s decisive shift away from fossil fuels’
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.
“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.”
Energy UK chief executive Emma Pinchbeck said, “The White Paper reveals the scale and opportunity of the energy transition, with aims in it to at least double the amount of clean electricity produced today.
“The energy industry will do our bit to innovate, supporting our customers so that they benefit from the net zero transition and investing in the green infrastructure we need – but clear policies from government help us do that. This is what the White Paper – and other publications over the next year – should provide.”
RenewableUK chief executive Hugh McNeal said, “The white paper provides greater clarity to the companies investing across the UK to deliver our net zero emissions target.
“Wind and renewable energy will be at the centre of our future energy system, providing the clean electricity and green hydrogen we need to decarbonise our economy.
“The next generation of onshore and offshore windfarms will bring tens of billions of pounds of investment to support a green recovery and create thousands of jobs across the country as we transition away from fossil fuels. To meet the goals set out in the white paper, it’s clear that we have to double-down on renewables as the main source of energy for our homes, transport and industry.”
The Energy White Paper reiterates the government’s commitment to 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030, including 1 GW of floating wind, and promises to kick-start a hydrogen economy by working with industry to aim for 5 GW of production by 2030, backed up by a new £240M net zero Hydrogen Fund for low carbon hydrogen production.
Supporting North Sea oil and gas transition for the people and communities most affected by the move away from oil and gas production, ensuring that the expertise of the oil and gas sector be drawn on in developing carbon capture and storage and hydrogen production to provide new green jobs.
Alongside the Energy White Paper, the government has also confirmed that it is to enter negotiations with EDF in relation to the Sizewell C project in Suffolk as it considers options to enable investment in at least one nuclear power station by the end of this Parliament.