The UK risks falling behind its rivals in the global green energy race, after Whitehall’s latest raft of policies failed to cough up the cash, warned industry bodies today.
Net zero secretary Grant Shapps today unveiled plans to ‘power up’ Britain with new energy security measures, in what was previously dubbed ‘Green Day’ and has now been called the ‘Energy Security Plan’
But the measures were denounced as failing to offer anything new, with wind and tidal energy body Renewable UK warning the announcements “do not go far enough to attract the investment we need in the renewable energy sector.”
Executive director of policy Ana Musat said: “We need much bolder action to secure Britain’s clean energy future. Global competition for investment in renewable energy projects is fiercer than ever, and the UK risks falling behind and surrendering our global lead.”
Luke Murphy, associate director at policy think tank IPPR feared the UK risked becoming the “sick and dirty” man of Europe.
Meanwhile, Labour frontbencher Ed Miliband blasted the package as “reheated” and “a weak and feeble groundhog day”, warning Brits would be “stuck with higher bills, energy insecurity, lost jobs and climate delay”.
Heat pumps and floating wind turbines enjoyed a funding boost, however the lion’s share of policies geared towards energy generation and easing household bills had already been confirmed by Downing Street.
This included the £20bn investment in carbon capture usage and storage, a £240m net zero hydrogen fund, and a £205m auction round for offshore wind.
Ministers were expected to use the so-called American pop-punk band themed event to announce major climate policies, ahead of a legal deadline to update their net zero strategy and were even rumoured to deliver their response to the £300bn US Inflation Reduction Act.
But focus shifted to energy security, although a net zero update is still expected ahead of the March 31 deadline with the US IRA response now on hold until autumn.
Greg Jackson, chief executive of Octopus Energy was more upbeat about Green Day’s policy proposals.
He told City A.M. he was “delighted the government is looking to remove outdated levies from electricity bills” and argued that “redoubling its commitment to heat pumps is hugely welcome.”
Semih Oztreves, from clean energy player Zenobē, argued there were “some beacons of hope” but that “we can’t afford any more delays”.
Conservative Environment Network director Sam Hall said while there was “much more to do” particularly on wind power, the measures would extend the UK’s head start and emphasise the need for the government to lead the way.
Source : CityAM