UK prioritises energy security in Net Zero Strategy

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled the UKs Net Zero Strategy, which aims for greater energy security by producing homegrown clean electricity.

The strategy was unveiled 12 days before the UK hosts global leaders in Glasgow for the COP26 climate negotiations, which carry an unprecedented importance to deliver action to curb carbon emissions.

The economy-wide plan prioritises decreasing vulnerability to sudden price rises caused by fluctuating fossil fuel markets and promotes the use of cheap British, clean energy.

Boris Johnson, credit: BEIS.gov

Said Prime Minister Boris Johnson: “By moving first and taking bold action, we will build a defining competitive edge in electric vehicles, offshore wind, carbon capture technology and more, whilst supporting people and businesses along the way.

“With the major climate summit COP26 just around the corner, our strategy sets the example for other countries to build back greener too as we lead the charge towards global net zero.”

The strategy aims to create a net zero electricity supply by increasing wind and solar generation, which will be complemented by nuclear power and CCUS, as well as flexible technologies such as interconnectors, storage and demand response

Key policy action points include:

  • Deployment of new flexibility measures including storage to help smooth out future price spikes
  • An ambition that by 2035, no new gas boilers will be sold
  • A new £450 million three-year Boiler Upgrade Scheme will see households offered grants of up to £5,000 for low-carbon heating systems so they cost the same as a gas boiler now.
  • A new £60 million Heat Pump Ready programme that will provide funding for pioneering heat pump technologies and will support the government’s target of 600,000 installations a year by 2028.
  • Delivering cheaper electricity by rebalancing of policy costs from electricity bills to gas bills this decade.
  • Launching a Hydrogen Village trial to inform a decision on the role of hydrogen in the heating system by 2026
  • A zero emission vehicle mandate to improve consumer choice and ensure we maximise the economic benefit from this transition by giving a clear signal to investors.
  • Further funding of £620 million for zero emission vehicle grants and EV Infrastructure, including further funding for local EV Infrastructure, with a focus on local on street residential charging.
  • £2 billion investment which will help enable half of journeys in towns and cities to be cycled or walked by 2030
  • Transformation of local transport systems, with 4,000 new zero emission buses and the infrastructure to support them, and a net zero rail network by 2050, with the ambition to remove all diesel-only trains by 2040.
  • Significant investment in rail electrification and city rapid transit systems.

Ultimately, the Net Zero Strategy sets out to unlock £90 billion in investment in 2030 as the country ends its contribution to climate change by 2050.

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Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “There is a global race to develop new green technology, kick-start new industries and attract private investment. The countries that capture the benefits of this global green industrial revolution will enjoy unrivalled growth and prosperity for decades to come – and it’s our job to ensure the UK is fighting fit.”

The full report is available online.