As lockdown 2.0 continues and we follow the restrictions that come with it in a year that could have been taken straight out of disaster movie, the PM finally brought another terrifying movie plot to the forefront of our minds – the Climate Crisis. Except this is not a movie and even though the pandemic is the constant global headline, Climate Change never went away, in fact it continues to rage on. Late on Tuesday, the Prime Minister laid down his government’s 10-point plan to kick the UK’s climate response into a revolution – a green one.
Just a few months ago, we wrote “A Strategy for A Sustainable Future” when we were still calling on the government to set out an aggressive Hydrogen Strategy for the UK alongside our campaign partners of UK Hydrogen Strategy Now. As news kept coming from Europe of billions earmarked to make hydrogen a central pillar to their green plans – Germany set out a €9Bn spend on hydrogen & its associated technologies, France plans an investment of €7.2Bn by 2030 – we were eager to see whether this would make the UK answer in a similar fashion.
Although it is a step in the right direction – one we sorely need, we definitely know there is further to go. For a long time, the pure cost of implementing green technology has been the overwhelming concern but this seems to have been set aside as the creation of green & sustainable jobs is now very high on the agenda.
The 10 points include a huge transformation of national infrastructure to accommodate electric vehicles when the ban on all new petrol & diesel vehicles comes into effect in 2030. There is also a massive ramp up in Offshore Wind planned, enough to power every home which will quadruple how much we produce to 40GW by 2030.
Point 2 titled “Driving the Growth of Low Carbon Hydrogen” lays out a timeline of target milestones for hydrogen technology in the UK. We will have to wait until next year for a more extensive Hydrogen Strategy to be published alongside the Government’s preferred business models for hydrogen. However, the main plans centre around the UK developing 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 which will support up to 8,000 jobs and talk of a Hydrogen Town by the end of the decade if the trial of a Hydrogen Neighbourhood delivers. They also hope that the pursuit of low carbon hydrogen could see over £4bn in private investment in the build up to 2030.
The UK will host COP26 next year in Glasgow and it is important that the UK can hold a significant position with our green policies. Although the reaction has been welcoming but somewhat muted and a concern that this will come nowhere near delivering Net Zero goals by 2050 – this was still a major day for green policy and we should celebrate the fact that serious steps are being taken; but now it is all about the delivery!
They say the devil is in the detail & it will be important to keep our eye on what happens next. The spending review will be published next week and before the end of the year we expect a National Infrastructure Strategy and the Energy White Paper which will hopefully flesh out the some of the finer points, giving a more detailed roadmap to Net Zero. In the meantime, Bramble Energy will continue to work alongside our industry peers in kickstarting the Green Revolution and Powering Net Zero.
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