Boris Johnson has set out the UK Government’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution. It is intended to create and support up to 250,000 jobs, with a particular focus on investment and job creation in the UK’s industrial heartlands which include the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, West Midlands, Scotland and Wales.
The Government plan to mobilise £12 billion of Government investment (and potentially up to three times as much from private sector investment) to create and support highly skilled green jobs in the UK.
The Prime Minister’s ten points are:
- Offshore wind: Producing enough offshore wind to power every home, quadrupling production to 40GW by 2030, supporting up to 60,000 jobs.
- Hydrogen: Working with industry aiming to generate 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power and homes, and aiming to develop the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade.
The Government has announced investment of up to £500 million in hydrogen, including for trialling homes using hydrogen for heating and cooking. Out of this investment, £240 million will be allocated to new hydrogen production facilities.
- Nuclear: Advancing nuclear as a clean energy source, across large scale nuclear and developing the next generation of small and advanced reactors, supporting up to 10,000 jobs.
£525 million has been allocated to help develop large and smaller-scale nuclear plants, and research and develop new advanced modular reactors.
- Electric vehicles: Backing the UK’s world-leading car manufacturing bases including in the West Midlands, North East and North Wales to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles and transforming our national infrastructure to improve support of electric vehicles.
The UK will end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. The sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no carbon being emitted from exhausts will be allowed until 2035.
Funding of £1.3 billion has been announced to accelerate the rollout of charge points for electric vehicles across England, £582 million in grants for those buying zero or ultra-low emission vehicles, and nearly £500 million for the development and mass-scale production of electric vehicle batteries.
- Public transport, cycling and walking: Making cycling and walking more attractive ways to travel and investing in zero-emission public transport of the future.
£5 billion for alternative greener ways of travel including cycling, walking, and buses was announced earlier this year.
- Jet Zero and greener maritime: Supporting difficult-to-decarbonise industries to become greener through research projects for zero-emission planes and ships.
£20 million will be made available for a competition to develop clean maritime technology, such as feasibility studies on key sites, including Orkney and Teesside.
- Homes and public buildings: Making homes, schools and hospitals greener, warmer and more energy efficient, whilst creating 50,000 jobs by 2030, and a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.
£1 billion will be invested next year into making new and existing homes and public buildings more efficient, extending the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme by a year and making public sector buildings greener and cutting bills for hospitals and schools, as part of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.
- Carbon capture: Becoming a world-leader in technology to capture and store harmful emissions away from the atmosphere, with a target to remove 10MT of carbon dioxide by 2030 (equivalent to all emissions from the industrial area of Humber today).
£200 million of new funding will be allocated to create two carbon capture clusters by the mid-2020s, with another two set to be created by 2030, increasing the total investment to £1 billion.
- Nature: Protecting and restoring our natural environment, planting 30,000 hectares of trees every year, whilst creating and retaining thousands of jobs.
£5.2 billion was announced earlier this year to create new flood and coastal defences in England by 2027.
- Innovation and finance: Developing the cutting-edge technologies needed to reach these new energy ambitions and make the City of London the global centre of green finance.
A £1 billion energy innovation fund was announced earlier this year to develop new technologies to reach energy targets.
While today’s announcement is a welcome signal from the UK Government as a precursor to COP 26 to be held in Glasgow next year, much still needs to be done to deliver on its plan, the majority of which is not new. Funding and investment will be a key issue both from public and private resources and Government has a key role to play in delivering a regulatory and fiscal framework which should encourage delivery. Ambitious plans to ban wholly petrol and diesel powered cars from the market post 2030, with hybrids being outlawed from 2035, pose significant challenges for delivery of infrastructure to achieve the target date and it remains to be seen if this is achievable in the timeframe proposed. Cross-sector and joined up policies will be necessary to deliver major low carbon energy, infrastructure and transport projects and to tackle retrofitting and energy efficiency challenges in housing stock and commercial property markets. The Government needs to create a platform of clear regulation and investment strategy to drive private investment into these areas. Industry will expect details and a pathway to delivery to be developed further in the Spending Review and the long-awaited Energy White Paper. Much remains to be delivered but for now the statement is a welcome statement of intent from Government for UK plc entering a post Brexit world.