UK Energy White Paper: Move Towards Clean Energy
In 2020 the government set out plans to move the UK to becoming a world-leading user of green energy – its “Green Industrial Revolution“. The ten-point strategy outlines actions that the UK will take to achieve its 2050 targets of transitioning to clean energy creating 40,000 jobs in the zero emission vehicle industry, 250,000 new jobs across the energy supply industry, and wind farm capacity for off-shore wind of 40GW – enough to power every UK home as well as creating 60,000 new jobs, all by 2030. The white paper further clarifies the government’s measures for the wider strategy of building an energy system that will not only transform the UK energy space, but will support a green recovery while also creating a fairer deal for consumers.
Although the UK’s climate-harming emissions are relatively low at around 1% of the global output, the document lays out plans to help other nations reduce their carbon output through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which produced the Paris Agreement.
Initial steps will be to develop new carbon capture, usage, and storage technology to enable the UK to make quicker in-roads in reducing the amount of atmospheric CO2. CCUS will collect CO2 from fossil- and biomass-fuelled power stations before either transporting it for use in foodstock production, or for sequestering underground and under the ocean floors.
Going forward, newly-developed frameworks for the basis of legislation to address the energy storage will come into play, along with legislative changes that address the management of tendering processes, ownership and operation of onshore network assets.
While, on the whole, the plans have been met with a positive reaction, critics describe them as little more than an inadequate shopping list, rather than a concrete plan that’s backed by enough funding and investment to bring the strategy fully to fruition.
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