Late yesterday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out his much-trailed 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution. In the plan, he announced a series of new funding and ambition announcements covering transport, hydrogen, energy efficiency, carbon capture, offshore wind, nuclear and green finance.
For transport, the PM announced long-term plans to end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in 2030, pushed forward from the government’s previous target of 2040. Hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with “no carbon coming out of the tailpipe” can be sold until 2035. The government will also launch a consultation on the phase-out of new diesel HGVs – no date has been set yet. Offering carrots to go with the stick, the PM also announced:
- £1.3bn to accelerate the rollout of chargepoints for electric vehicles in homes, streets and on motorways across England.
- £582mn in grants for those buying zero or ultra-low emission vehicles to incentivise more people to make the transition.
- Nearly £500mn to be spent in the next four years for the development and mass-scale production of electric vehicle batteries.
The PM announced a target to remove 10MT of carbon dioxide by 2030. This will be achieved by an extra £200mn in funding for carbon capture and storage projects being added to the £800mn previously announced by the government, bringing total funding up to £1bn. This extra funding will create two carbon capture clusters by the mid-2020s, with another two set to be created by 2030, with clusters likely to focus on areas such as the Humber, Teesside, Merseyside, Grangemouth and Port Talbot.
To decarbonise building emissions, the government is targeting 600,000 heat pump installations every year by 2028. The recently launched Green Homes Grant is being extended by a year and the PM announced £1bn in funding next year to make new and existing homes and public buildings more efficient.
The PM said the UK would aim to generate 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power and homes, and aiming to develop the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade. On funding, he announced up to £500mn, including for trialling homes using hydrogen, starting with a ‘Hydrogen Neighbourhood’ in 2023, moving to a ‘Hydrogen Village’ by 2025, with an aim for a ‘Hydrogen Town’ – equivalent to tens of thousands of homes – before the end of the 2020s. Of this funding, £240mn will go into new hydrogen production facilities.
Low carbon power
The PM confirmed the 40GW by 2030 offshore wind target, saying this would support up to 60,000 jobs. He also announced £525mn to help develop large and smaller-scale nuclear plants, and research and develop new advanced modular reactors.
Green finance and innovation funding
The PM positioned the City of London as “the global centre of green finance”. He also highlighted the role of the previously announced £1bn energy innovation fund to “stay ahead of the latest technologies needed to reach new energy targets”.
A year and a half on from the setting the 2050 net zero target, this plan represents a step up in rhetoric and ambition from the government and we look forward to what comes out in the Energy White Paper and other important strategic documents in the next few months. We will consider this plan and the reaction to it in more detail in next week’s Energy Spectrum.