Dave Elliott: The long awaited, much delayed, White Paper on Energy did not emerge as expected in mid November, but UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson did launch a ten-point energy plan to set the UK on a path to ‘net zero carbon’ by 2050. As had been indicated in previous announcements, renewables are strongly featured in the proposed ‘Green Industrial Revolution’. Offshore was wind expected to be producing enough power ‘for every home, quadrupling how much we produce to 40GW by 2030, supporting up to 60,000 jobs’. In particular, 1 GW of floating offshore wind capacity was expected to be in place by then. On hydrogen, much talked up of late, there is a target to generate 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power and homes. There will be a programme of almost £500m, ‘including for trialling homes using hydrogen for heating and cooking, starting with a Hydrogen Neighbourhood in 2023, moving to a Hydrogen Village by 2025, with an aim for a Hydrogen Town, equivalent to tens of thousands of homes, before the end of the decade’. Homes will also benefit from a £1bn programme for making new and existing homes and public buildings more energy efficient – somewhat less than the £9.2 billion promised in the 2019 election manifesto. The nearest thing to a major new commitment in the plan was the provision of an an extra £200 million to create two ‘carbon capture’ clusters by the mid-2020s, with another two to be created by 2030, all this being destined to create jobs ‘for areas such as the Humber, Teesside, Merseyside, Grangemouth & Port Talbot’. The 10-point plan is to be followed up by not just the delayed Energy White Paper, which may still yet emerge later this year, but also by a whole series of other reports including an update of the National Infrastructure Strategy (now out), a Net Zero Strategy, an Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy and a Hydrogen Strategy.
Renew Extra 28th Nov 2020 read more »