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The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department has published its vision for developing the UK as a world leader in cutting carbon based emissions whilst continuing to grow economically. The government’s ‘Clean Growth Strategy’ builds on the UK’s progress to date and highlights funding plans.

Progress so far

  • carbon emissions in the UK have fallen (42%) since 1990
  • national income has risen faster and further per person (67%) than any other nation in the G7 since 1990
  • £2.5bn is being invested between 2015 and 2021 on science, research and innovation

Funding strategy

  • up to £10m for innovations that provide low carbon heat in domestic and commercial buildings
  • up to £10m for innovations that improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings
  • an extra £14m for the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, including a new sixth fund
  • up to £20m in a carbon capture and utilisation demonstration programme
  • up to £20m to demonstrate the viability of switching to low carbon fuels for industry
  • up to £20m to support clean technology early stage funding

And that’s not all…

As part of the package BEIS has also, confirmed the phase out of unabated coal based electricity generation by 2025. Up to half a billion pounds is earmarked to support less established renewable and low carbon electricity production technologies under a further contracts for difference round in Spring 2019. Potentially 10GW of new offshore wind capacity could be provided under a ‘sector deal’ with more if this proves cost effective and delivered in the 2020’s. The department has also confirmed new nuclear power in the shape of the current Hinkley C project and discussions to secure competitive prices for new nuclear are in the pipeline.

‘Leading the world on climate change’

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “This government has put clean growth at the heart of its Industrial Strategy to increase productivity, boost people’s earning power and ensure Britain continues to lead the world in efforts to tackle climate change.

“For the first time in a generation, the British government is leading the way on taking decisions on new nuclear, rolling out smart meters and investing in low carbon innovation. The world is moving from being powered by polluting fossil fuels to clean energy. It’s as big a change as the move from the age of steam to the age of oil and Britain is showing the way.”

Energy expert analysis

The Clean Growth Strategy promotes an upbeat message suggesting the relationship between economic growth and carbon emissions may have significantly adjusted, with carbon emissions falling whilst national income has risen. There are many reasons behind this divergence, and increasing the lower carbon technology in our energy mix, in response to climate change, must be a key factor. It is therefore positive to see support measures for the energy sector, announced under the Clean Growth Strategy, that place an emphasis low emissions heat, energy efficiency, carbon removal and cleaner fuels.

Alastair Fells MEI, Incorporated Eng, PG Dip Fuel Tech, BSc Hons

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