EnergyWatch

Britain to take 10 steps and spend GBP 12bn to get clean

Offshore wind, CCS and electric cars are a few of the elements Boris Johnson is banking on in a new plan to ensure carbon neutrality from 2050.

Photo: NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP / AFP

The UK intends to hit net zero emissions by mid-century, and now British Prime Minister Boris Johnson presents a plan for realizing that goal.

In all its simplicity, the idea can be boiled to down GBP 12 billion and a ten-step plan. However, that's indeed a reduced soup without much flavor. The strategy will actually require a lot more money, and the UK government is hoping to attract private investment capital threefold that figure before 2030.

"Although this year has taken a very different path to the one we expected, I haven’t lost sight of our ambitious plans to level up across the country. My Ten Point Plan will create, support and protect hundreds of thousands of green jobs, whilst making strides towards Net Zero by 2050," Johnson writes in a statement.

"Our green industrial revolution will be powered by the wind turbines of Scotland and the North East, propelled by the electric vehicles made in the Midlands and advanced by the latest technologies developed in Wales, so we can look ahead to a more prosperous, greener future," the PM adds.

Altogether, Johnson counts on the plan, dubbed the Green Industrial Revolution, to result in up to 250,000 sustainability-related jobs.

Ten steps

As the name indicates, the Ten Point Plan contains a number of initiatives meant to pave the way for carbon neutrality.

  • Offshore wind

The first point is sea-based wind turbines. Here, the UK expects to reach 40 GW in offshore wind by 2030, which will be enough to "power every home" and support "up to 60,000 jobs".

  • Hydrogen

Here, the UK's goal is to reach a production of 5 GW in "low-carbon" hydrogen by 2030, investing up to GBP 500 million in creating a hydrogen-based housing area in 2023, a hydrogen village in 2025 and, lastly, a hydrogen city powered exclusively by H2.

  • Nuclear power

The third initiative is to scale up nuclear energy by, among other things, developing "small and advanced reactors". This will cost around GBP 525 million.

  • EVs

By 2030, there will be no more selling gasoline- and diesel-powered cars in the UK, Johnson confirms. However, the deadline for vans and hybrid cars will be 2035. Instead, Johnson directs his gaze to the "West Midlands, North East and North Wales", reportedly masters of electric-car building. According to the plan, GBP 1.3 billion will be spent on rolling out charging points, while GBP 582 million are earmarked for making it more attractive to buy electric. Around GBP 500 million will be spent on producing batteries on a large scale.

  • Public transport

Here, the British government plans to make it attractive to bicycle and walk and to invest in carbon-neutral public transport. Up to GBP billion will be spent on the area.

  • Planes and ships

Here, research projects on carbon-neutral air planes and ships will be initiated in the attempt to support airlines, airports and shipping companies. GBP 20 million are earmarked for green, maritime innovations.

  • Buildings

Private homes, schools, hospitals and the like must be more energy-efficient, to which purpose GBP 1 billion will be spent starting next year. Among other things, this means installation of 600,000 heat pumps per year in 2028.

  • CCS

In total, the UK aims to remove ten million tonnes of CO2 in 2030, spending GBP 200 million on creating two CCS clusters in the mid-2020s and another two in 2030. A combined GBP 1 billion will be spent on the area.

  • Nature

Every year, 30,000 hectares of trees will be planted to recreate the natural environment.

  • Innovation and financing

Groundbreaking technologies will be developed, necessary to meet energy ambitions and render London a global center for green financing.

English Edit: Daniel Frank Christensen & Jonas Sahl Jørgensen

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