Saturday, 16 December, 2017

The Government finally switches on to a clean growth strategy

Turbines of the Burbo Bank offshore wind farm lay in the wake of a maintenance boat in the mouth of the River Mersey The Government finally switches on to a clean growth strategy
Theresa Hayes | 13 October, 2017, 09:19

"The Clean Growth Strategy will look across the whole of the economy and the country".

A new CCUS Council will help the government to work in partnership with the industry and deploy CCUS at scale in the United Kingdom, the document says.

"We have been a global climate leader, but if we set out plans that don't meet our own targets to meet the global threat of climate change, then we will have so much further to go to meet the more ambitious worldwide ones agreed in Paris".

The UK government will invest up to £100 million ($132 million) in carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) technology and industrial innovation as part of its Clean Growth Strategy, published on Thursday. "It will also show how actions taken to tackle emissions have helped to reduce energy bills for households".

"The importance of positive government messaging on the low carbon agenda for investment confidence is often overlooked and today's clear cross-government commitment to deliver on the UK's climate targets will be welcomed by businesses", said Nick Molho, executive director of the Aldersgate Group. However, it is still a downgrade to the £1bn worth of CCS funding which was unexpectedly pulled by the government in 2015. It includes increased public spending, research and innovation and covers programs delivering low carbon energy, transport, agriculture and waste. In addition, up to £20 million will be used to demonstrate the viability of switching to low carbon fuels for industry.

Studies have shown the United Kingdom is the fastest decarbonising economy in the European Union, having cut its overall emissions by a third while simultaneously seeing its economy grow by around two thirds.

"Recent announcements in the offshore wind and auto manufacturing industries have highlighted how a clear vision, supported by detailed policies, enable the private sector to drive innovation, cut the costs of clean technologies and invest in United Kingdom jobs and supply chains".

In a 164-page document crammed with 50 low-carbon policies and plans, the Government has planted the seeds for a new era of green economic growth which replicates the offshore wind model and offers major opportunities for United Kingdom plc.

The measures include up to GBP 557 million (USD 738m/EUR 622m) of funding for future contract for difference (CfD) auctions for less established renewables such as offshore wind that was announced yesterday. However, much of the Carbon dioxide reduction so far has been secured by phasing out coal-fired power plants, and as such facilities fall off the United Kingdom grid more new policies are needed to ensure continued decarbonisation into the 2020s and beyond.