After nine month’s delay, this week finally saw the publication of a Government policy paper that the green and low-carbon sectors have been expecting for a long time: the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Clean Growth Strategy. At its launch, Industry and Climate Change Minister Claire Perry told attendees that the Government will “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”.
The Government acknowledges that economic prosperity and the global challenge of tackling climate change can go hand in hand. According to the Department of BEIS, the UK is in a good position to lead the world in this, as UK emissions have been reduced by 42% since 1990 while the economy has grown by 67%.
The paper sets out a number of commitments on renewable and low carbon energy, including a £20m new clean technology early stage investment fund, support worth £557m through new Contracts for Difference auctions, looking into further offshore wind deployment beyond 2020, £177m funding for renewable energy technology improvements and £460m for nuclear energy research and development, recycling and reprocessing.
The Strategy also notes that emerging technologies such as wave and tidal need to demonstrate that they can compete successfully against other low-carbon sources, that floating off-shore wind turbine platforms will be looked into, as well as small-scale solar projects that can be deployed without financial support from Government. It also states that fundign from the £200m Rural Development Plan for England Growth Programma and Countryside Productivity Offers could be used to support renewable energy projects such as solar and wind connected to battery storage.
Ms Perry said:
“The impact of the Paris agreement and the unstoppable global shift towards low carbon technologies gives the UK an unparalleled opportunity. By focusing on Clean Growth, we can cut the cost of energy, drive economic prosperity, create high value jobs and improve our quality of life.”