Recently, Boris Johnson unveiled a 10-point climate plan for the UK with the key goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The plan lays the foundations for a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ with a focus on transport, nature, innovative technologies and clean energy. It includes some £12 billion of government investment to create and sustain 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs in the UK and encourage three times more private sector investment by 2030.
For the UK’s green community this is very exciting, of course, however it has received some criticism already.
Without further ado let’s dive into the plan!
Point #1: Advancing Offshore Wind
Goal: Quadruple our offshore wind production by 2030
- In its next round of the government’s Contract for Difference Auction (a contract where the government tries to incentivise developers of projects with high upfront costs and long lifetimes with direct protection from volatile wholesale prices to continue their work) it plans to procure double the capacity of renewables compared to its previous auction.
- Off the back of this the government aims to produce 40GW of offshore wind, including 1GW of innovative floating offshore wind (of which the UK already owns the first two in existence), with the goal of increasing this by 12-fold by 2030.
- To support the manufacture of these wind turbines the government will invest £160 million into ports and modern manufacturing, creating highly skilled jobs in our coastal regions.
- Finally, the government plans to transform our energy system by building better network infrastructure, making use of smart technologies like energy storage and connecting offshore wind to our energy networks in an efficient way (monitored by their Offshore Transmission Network Review).
Point #2: Driving the Growth of Low Carbon Hydrogen
Goal: Innovate and create ‘low carbon’ hydrogen
- Working with partners from our industries the government aims to have 5GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 – to be supported by a £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund.
- By pioneering hydrogen heating trials, starting with a Hydrogen Neighborhood and eventually scaling up to a Hydrogen Town by 2030. For example, e.g. Ofgem intends to provide hydrogen to 300 homes for a 4-year period as a ‘network demonstration’.
- The production of low-carbon at scale will rely on Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) infrastructure, thus the plan is to grow both side-by-side to create industrial “superplaces” worth envy from other countries.
Point #3: Delivering New and Advanced Nuclear Power
Goal: Develop the next generation of nuclear plants as a source of low-carbon electricity
- The government plans to fund up to £385 million for their ‘Advanced Nuclear Fund’, focusing on creating the next generation of nuclear technologies.
- £215 million of which will be invested into the development of Small Modular Reactors (a small-scale power plant technology similar to existing nuclear power station reactors to be built in factories and assembled on site).
- Up to £170 million will be invested into Advanced Modular Reactors (which use cooling systems or fuels to potentially provide a step change reduction in costs) with the goal of building a demonstrator by the 2030s to show what this technology could have to offer.
- To assist these technologies to market, the government will invest another £40 million in designing and creating the regulatory frameworks and supporting supply chains.
Point #4: The Shift to Zero Emission Vehicles
Goal: Speed along our shift to electronic vehicles in the UK & reach net-zero by 2050
- Ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in 2030.
- Ban the sale of new hybrid cars and vans by 2035.
- Provide a support package of £2.8 billion to demonstrate faith in British car manufacturing industry, bringing jobs and investment back into the UK.
- Supply up to £1 billion to aid the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains, including the development of “Gigafactories” to produce the batteries required to make the change.
Point #5: Green Public Transport, Cycling and Walking
Goal: Alongside the decarbonisation of our vehicles, we also need to increase the number of journeys taken by public transport, cycling and walking
- Invest in rail and bus modes of transport by funding 1000s of zero-emissions buses and giving our towns and cities cycles lanes comparable to that of Holland.
- Invest tens of billions of pounds towards updating and enhancing our rail networks, £4.2 billion in city public transport and £5 billion on buses.
- Supply £120 million investment next year to introduce at least 4,000 more (British built) zero-emission buses.
- Fund a minimum of two all-electric bus towns, beginning this year, alongside developing our first zero-emissions city centre.
Point #6: Jet Zero and Green Ships
Goal: Make the UK the home of green ships and planes
- The Jet Zero Council will act as a sector-wide partnership, designed to speed along the adoption of new technologies to help reach net zero aviation.
- Invest £15 million into FlyZero – a 12-month study looking into the potential issues in designing and implementing a zero-emission aircraft that could enter service in 2030.
- Invest £20 million into the Clean Maritime Demonstration Programme to develop green maritime technology.
- Run a £15 million competition to bring about the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF)
Point #7: Greener Buildings
Goal: Make homes and public buildings energy efficient
- Put in place the Future Home Standard as soon as possible and increase required standards for non-domestic buildings so they have high energy efficiency and low carbon heating.
- Install 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028
- Supply £1 billion for the extension of schemes, including: the Green Homes Grant (extended for another year) to increase energy efficiency in homes and replace fossil fuel heating; the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (for reducing emissions in public buildings, schools and hospitals); Home Upgrades Grant (for transforming the heating systems of those who live off the gas grid); and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (to continue bettering the least efficient social housing.
Point #8: Investing in Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage
Goal: Remove 10 million tons of co2 by 2030
- To modernise the homelands of the first Industrial Revolution the government will invest up to £1 billion (in the form of their CCUS Infrastructure Fund) to support the creation of Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) systems at four industrial knots: the North East, the Humber, North West, Scotland and Wales – making these ‘superplaces’ of the future.
- First, establishing CCUS in two of our industrial areas by mid-2020s (aiming for four by 2030) which will capture up to 10Mt of Co2 per year.
Point #9: Protecting Our Natural Environment
Goal: Safeguard our cherished landscapes and restore habitats for wildlife
- 30,000 hectares of trees will be planted each year.
- £5.2 billion will be put towards flooding and coastal defences in a six-year programme.
- New National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty will be created by designating more of England’s beautiful landscapes.
- Green jobs will be created by a £40 million injection into the second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund via nature conservation and restoration projects.
- A new Environmental Land Management scheme will incentivise land owners to plant trees and restore peatlands.
Point #10: Green Finance and Innovation
Goal: Unleash innovation and develop new sources of green finance
- The government has said they’ll raise a R&D investment to match 2.4% of GDP by 2027. This will lower costs of the zero-emissions transition, develop new products and business models and influence consumers.
- Invest £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio which will focus on ten key areas that mentioned in this Ten Point Plan.
- To aid the transition to renewables the government will provide £100 million for Energy Storage and Flexibility innovation challenges.
- Make the UK the first country in the world to commercialise fusion energy technology by providing £222 million for the visionary STEP programme (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production), where the goal is to create the first commercial ready fusion plant in the UK by 2040, as well as supplying £184 million for new fusion sites, infrastructure and entry-level jobs.
- £20 million will be invested towards the trial of zero-emissions heavy goods vehicles.
- Introduce the UK’s first Sovereign Green Bond in 2021, launched to finance sustainable projects.
- By investing £3 million in the Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Hub new transportation innovations will be trialed and deployed.
This plan has been set out to help make our recovery from the Coronavirus green, to generate jobs, boost the economy and get focused on reducing our emissions.
It represents the very first step of the UK’s actions towards reaching net zero by 2050!
Stay tuned for our next post on this topic where we’ll dive into activists’ and the public’s responses to this plan!