Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his 2020 budget speech on the 11 March. Despite the government having to currently manage more pressing matters, there were some interesting announcements on energy.
- £500m to support the rollout of a super-fast electric vehicle charging network.
- £533m to extend Plug-in Grant schemes for ultra-low emission vehicles to 2023.
- Establish carbon capture and storage in at least two UK sites – one by the mid-2020s and one by 2030 – to capture CO2 emissions before they are released into the atmosphere (with help from a Carbon Capture and Storage Fund).
- Support for the construction of the UK’s first carbon capture and storage power plant ‘using consumer subsidies’.
- A new £100m scheme to help households and small businesses invest in low carbon heating systems, and consulting on introducing a Green Gas Levy to increase biomethane production for the gas grid.
- A Green Heat Networks scheme to encourage new and existing heat networks to adopt low carbon heat sources, backed by £270m funding.
- £300m additional funding to improve air quality.
- Ensuring the tax system incentivises users of polluting fuels, like diesel, to improve their energy efficiency by ensuring more businesses pay the standard rate of diesel, instead of the lower ‘red diesel’ rate.