Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

The Government finally switches on to a clean growth strategy

The Government finally switches on to a clean growth strategy

They said "the Clean Growth Strategy is a positive signal that the Government understand the significant opportunities for the United Kingdom that moving to a low carbon economy can bring".

The UK Government has announced an ambitious new Clean Growth Strategy to drastically cut carbon emissions and combat climate change, including £557 million for the country's third renewable energy Contracts for Difference auction set for spring of 2019.

"We have been a global climate leader, but if we set out plans that don't meet our own targets to meet the global threat of climate change, then we will have so much further to go to meet the more ambitious worldwide ones agreed in Paris". The offshore wind industry has helped create thousands of highly skilled jobs at factories in Hull and the Isle of Wight, and a burgeoning local supply chain across the country.

There are also measures in the plan aimed at improving energy productivity in the private sector by at least 20 per cent by 2030, including the establishment of an Industrial Energy Efficiency scheme and launching a consultation on raising minimum standards of energy efficiency for rented commercial buildings.

The Solar Trade Association (STA) argued that the United Kingdom government is "artificially holding back" solar revolution costs consumers and limits community & business action, with no explicit new measures to boost current deployment which has plummeted and which has been kept afloat by progressive planning policies by some local authorities.

An investment of £2.5 billion will support low carbon innovation from 2015 to 2021, as part of the largest increase in public spending on science, research and innovation in more than three decades.

The UK's nascent ultra low emission vehicles sector is set to benefit from a promised £1bn investment to support the take up of EVs and other low carbon road vehicles, with the government also promising to develop "one of the best electric vehicle charging networks in the world" by investing an additional £80m in charging infrastructure.

Less established renewable energy projects will include offshore wind, biomass, energy-from-waste technologies and combined heat and power projects.

The highly anticipated strategy comes nine months after it was promised, having been beset by delays from political events such as last year's European Union membership referendum, subsequent Brexit negotiations and June's General Election.

In a 164-page document crammed with 50 low-carbon policies and plans, the Government has planted the seeds for a new era of green economic growth which replicates the offshore wind model and offers major opportunities for United Kingdom plc. The UK Government has much more work to do in putting forward credible policies to close a carbon gap of almost 10% by 2032.

Wednesday saw the UK Government launch its new Clean Growth Strategy which sets out how to grow the national economy while simultaneously cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

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