In the government’s first full industrial strategy for decades, Business Secretary Greg Clark has today launched four “grand challenges” that are viewed as key to reviving productivity growth across the economy – including renewable energy and BPVs (battery-powered vehicles).
In a supporting statement, UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove added: “We are determined to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it.
“And achieving clean growth is an integral part of our work to deliver a Green Brexit.
“Through our ambitious plans to tackle waste, better manage our precious natural resources and create a more environmentally-focused agricultural system, this government is taking the lead in creating a cleaner, greener Britain.”
The clean growth ‘challenge’ aims to maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth.
The strategy commits the Government to remaining at the fore of green finance, it recognises the role of both the bio-economy and other renewable energy technologies, and announces the intention to launch a “Prospering from the energy revolution” programme, which will be supported by funds from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which will create high-value jobs and export capabilities.
The “Transforming Construction” programme will seek to create more energy efficient homes and buildings
Clarke said: “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.”
Measures set out in the Strategy include funding through the BEIS Energy Innovation Programme for:
- up to £10 million for innovations that provide low carbon heat in domestic and commercial buildings
- up to £10 million for innovations that improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings
- an extra £14 million for the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, including a new sixth fund
- up to £20 million in a Carbon Capture and Utilisation demonstration programme
- up to £20 million to demonstrate the viability of switching to low carbon fuels for industry
- up to £20 million to support clean technology early stage funding
Dr. Nina Skorupska CBE, Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association, commented:
“The renewable energy and clean tech sectors are growing areas of the economy that are creating new jobs, deploying low-cost energy, and delivering new export opportunities for the UK.”
“We look forward to continuing to work with the government to develop the “Prospering from the Energy Revolution” programme and Bioeconomy Strategy, which must recognise the value of the full range of energy technologies that the UK is currently capable of deploying.”
Last month, a report by management consultants PWC demonstrated the country is strongly outperforming its peers within the G20.
According to PwC’s Low Carbon Economy Index, the UK decarbonising faster than any other G20 nation. It also reveals that in 2016, the UK achieved a decarbonisation rate of 7.7% – almost three times the global average.
Jonathan Grant, PwC sustainability director and Low Carbon Economy Index author, said: “The UK’s success comes down to policies that create a positive investment climate for low carbon technology, the drive to tackle emissions from coal and the strength of our services sectors.”
Further government measures include commitments to:
Develop a package of measures to support businesses to improve their energy productivity, by at least 20% by 2030
Establish an Industrial Energy Efficiency scheme to help large companies install measures to cut their energy use and their bills, and:
Demonstrate international leadership in carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS), by collaborating with our global partners and investing up to £100 million in leading edge CCUS and industrial innovation to drive down costs.
Louise Kingham, Chief Executive of the Energy Institute, said: “The strategy lays solid, economy-wide foundations and identifies the great challenges of our age.
“The energy sector has a defining role to play in making a success for the UK of clean growth and the mobility transformation in particular.
“It’s reassuring to see a focus on nurturing the people and innovations needed to take the UK economy beyond Brexit and beyond carbon.
“I am encouraged as well to see that resource efficiency in business, industry and construction have such a prominent place, and that the government is committed to taking a whole systems approach to decarbonising our energy infrastructure.”
A spokesman for Perth-based SSE added: “We look for an approach that strikes a balance between maintaining controls on cost for consumers, investing in people and developing a smarter energy system while continuing the UK’s progress in decarbonising its electricity and heat supply. The White Paper suggests this is the Government’s focus.
“Therefore, the White Paper’s focus on developing new infrastructure and ambitious sector deals for offshore wind, attracting green finance, and charging points for BPVs across the UK suggests further opportunities for SSE.”
See also: EXCLUSIVE: Practical Guide for Projects and Investors in Preparing for Renewables After Brexit
The Industrial Strategy White Paper published by the UK Government can be viewed here:
Renewables After Brexit: bit.ly/BuyNowRAB
Dundee University 1 Dec 2017