Yesterday the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced the Budget for 2021 which was eagerly anticipated by many across the country.
As we expected, the Coronavirus recovery programme has dominated the headlines, however, we’ve delved into some of the energy related points to provide further insight into what yesterday’s announcement means for the UK energy industry.
The chancellor expressed that the nations future economy requires investment in “green industries” across the country.
- New UK Infrastructure Bank to be set up in Leeds, it will have £12bn in capital, with the aim to fund £40bn worth of public and private projects.
- £15bn in green bonds, for retail investors, to help finance the transition to net zero by 2050. Closely linked to this the Government will offer a green retail savings product through NS&I in the upcoming summer.
- New port infrastructure will be built to support the next generation of offshore wind projects in Teesside and Humberside, situated in the north of England.
- £20m to fund a UK-wide competition to develop floating offshore wind demonstrators to help support the government’s aim of using offshore wind power to generate electricity for every home by 2030.
- The government announced they will provide £27m for the Aberdeen Energy Transition Zone, helping to support North East Scotland to take the leading role in meeting the nations net-zero ambitions.
- £4m towards a biomass feedstocks programme in the UK to identify ways to increase the production of energy crops and forest products which can be used for energy.
- Also £4.8m to support the development of a hydrogen hub in Holyhead, Wales, which will harness the creation of hydrogen from renewable energy sources, as well as its use as a zero-emission fuel in HGVs. Resulting in 500 potential new job openings.
Will this help the UK reach its 2050 goals of a net-zero future?
Some commentators expressed disappointment and made their thoughts clear that the budget did not go far enough to address the scale of the climate change challenge.
Three areas of disappointment have been points have been highlighted, including:
- Green Investment
- Green Measures
As well as the Prime Ministers 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution?
Zero Carbon Public Procurement – New legislation forces Suppliers to act!
In 2019 the UK Government amended the Climate Change Act 2008 to establish a legally-binding target of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. On the 5th of June, the Cabinet Office issued PPN 06/21 which sets out how to take account of carbon reduction plans in the procurement of major government contracts. The new measures are set to impact both suppliers and contracting authorities and will help achieve the UK governments Net Zero by 2050 target.
G7 Summit – False promises or a step in the right direction?
The G7 nations leaders came together for their first face-to-face meeting since the COVID-19 Pandemic began last year, the aim of this year’s summit was to address the rising global climate crisis as well as the global vaccination rollout to help tackle the global pandemic.
The UK Government to launch emissions trading scheme in May and to introduce an environmental watchdog in July.
The UK Government has recently announced the date for the introduction of England’s post-Brexit environmental watchdog, which will be implemented on an interim basis in July.