Geri Findlay, Sustainable Footprints’ Director responded to the release of the UK Government’s Energy White Paper today (14 December 2020): “Today’s Energy White Paper provides an interesting opportunity for ambitious targets to meet the net-zero emissions goal whilst trying to balance various and, sometimes, conflicting interests such as a massive overhaul of infrastructure to facilitate electric vehicles with more renewable energy. This is alongside supporting cheaper energy through tackling loyalty penalties on energy tariffs. Seeing how this manifests itself, and the future landscape in this area, will be interesting and, no doubt, a political ball to be thrown about.”
The key parts of the UK Government’s Energy White Paper include:
- Supporting up to 220,000 jobs in the next 10 years.
- Transforming the UK’s energy system from one based on fossil fuels to one harnessing renewable energy that is fit for a net-zero economy.
- Offering people a more simple method of switching to cheaper energy tariffs and testing automatic switching to fairer deals.
- Generating emission-free electricity by 2050 by increasing the use of renewable energy sources.
- Establishing a UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) from 1 January 2021 to replace the current EU ETS.
- Continuing to explore a range of financing options for new nuclear developments.
- A commitment to deliver 40GW of electricity through offshore wind farms by 2030.
- Investing £1 billion in state-of-the-art carbon capture storage in four industrial clusters by 2030.
- Aim for 5GW of hydrogen production by 2030 backed by a new £240m net-zero Hydrogen Fund.
- Investing £1.3 billion to accelerate the rollout of charge points for electric vehicles in homes, streets and on motorways plus up to £1 billion to support the electrification of cars.
- Supporting the lowest paid with their bills which could save families in old inefficient homes up to £400.
- Moving away from fossil fuel boilers. By mid-2030s, all newly installed heating systems are expected to be low carbon.