UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled his much-anticipated ‘Ten Point Plan’ for green growth
The £12Bn plan focuses on offshore wind, green hydrogen, nuclear power, electric vehicles, public transport, cycling and walking, ‘jet zero’ and greener shipping, homes and public buildings, carbon capture, protecting nature and innovation and finance.
The Ten Point Plan restates the government’s previously announced target for 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030.
The Prime Minister first made a commitment to 40 GW of offshore wind in late 2019, when the Conservative election manifesto commitment to 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030 became government policy, having been included in the Queen’s Speech. He reiterated that commitment in October 2020 and has doubled down on it in the new plan.
Responding to the plan, RenewableUK deputy chief executive Melanie Onn said, “The Prime Minister has set out an ambitious plan for a new green industrial revolution, with low-cost renewable energy at its heart.
“The UK’s success in wind power puts us in a prime position to be a global leader across a whole suite of clean-tech industries, from EVs to renewable hydrogen, where we can create new UK supply chains to export our goods and expertise around the world.
“Offshore wind is set to become the backbone of the UK’s electricity system, providing over a third of our power by 2030, and we can rapidly develop green hydrogen to decarbonise shipping, aviation and industry.
“The Prime Minister’s new 2030 hydrogen target is a vital signal to investors and the market, and we will work with government to ensure our world-leading renewable hydrogen technologies play a full part in meeting that target.
“We know that reaching net-zero emissions is going to mean transforming our energy system and large parts of our economy, and the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan is a vital step forward.”
Commenting on the plan, Wood Mackenzie principal analyst Tom Heggarty said, “Since his predecessor Theresa May made the commitment for the UK to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 in June 2019, policy detail about how these targets would be met has been lacking.
“Ahead of the rescheduled COP26 climate conference, now due to be held in Glasgow in November 2021, the UK government is now looking to reaffirm its position as a global leader on climate policy.
“In the power sector, the twin areas of focus appear to be offshore wind and nuclear power. The UK has already committed to raising its target of offshore wind deployments to 40 GW by 2030, up from 30 GW previously.
“The wind industry will be supported by a continuation of the contracts for difference and seabed licencing programmes, while support available for the emerging floating offshore wind sector is on the way.”
A spokesperson for Cornwall Insight said, “The energy industry and its customers have desperately needed clarity on how the government intends to meet its net zero goal.
“The Prime Minister’s announcement lays the scene for some big industry changes, and now that he has set his agenda, the energy sector has a genuine opportunity to take control of its low-carbon future.
“This is the moment that UK energy policy has been formally co-opted to the energy agenda and lays down the marker for the decades ahead. The 10-point plan sets the high-level principles, and the Energy White Paper and the net zero spending review will help add flesh to the bones.
“There is no doubt that this is an ambitious plan which should be welcomed. However, questions need to be asked about whether the underlying spending commitment is enough to deliver the desired outcome of net zero by 2050.
“The outlined plans to make the City of London the global centre for green finance through our sovereign bond, carbon offset markets and disclosure requirements, could be very significant in delivering required capital.
“The long-awaited Energy White Paper will be the next landing stage for a coherent strategy for the energy sector for the decades ahead.
“Industry and government are working closely together to secure the of billions in private investment In clean energy infrastructure, and the tens of thousands of high-quality green jobs across the UK to build it.”