Thursday the 30th of March 2023 marked the UK’s ‘Green Day’,
where the government released its energy security plan.
The plan, to help the UK reach net zero, has been drawn up due to the High Court ruling that previous reports were insufficient, with no clear direction towards helping the UK reach its legally binding net zero targets.
The new report is a set of “ambitious plans to scale up affordable, clean, homegrown power and build thriving green industries”.
Throughout the day, plans have been announced including:
- Support to increase the number of homes with heat pumps
- Make the process for planning permission for solar and offshore wind projects easier and quicker
- £160 million of investment will be put into increasing emerging floating offshore wind power
- £380 million of investment to increase the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) charging network
- £240 million of investment to be put into the Net Zero Hydrogen fund
- The Great British Insulation Scheme will be launched
- The first Carbon Capture Usage and Storage clusters will be launched
- Investments will be made to establish the transition to EVs and sustainable aviation fuel
- CO2 is to be stored under the North Sea
Although these outcomes appear to be pretty impressive the plan has been met by criticisms from environmental groups and experts. There are a number of scientists that have made claims that this plan, still, does not have a clear pathway to help the UK reach net zero by its target deadline in 2050.
The UK Government has announced that these measures will help the UK to reach its net zero targets, whilst also bringing down energy costs, which will hopefully lower our energy bills.
Grant Shapps, the UK’s Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, has stated that:
“Following our unprecedented cost of living support this winter, which continues, this plan now sets out how we fix this problem in the long term to deliver wholesale UK electricity prices that rank amongst the cheapest in Europe, as we export our green growth expertise to the world.”
However, there is opposition to this statement as experts have argued that it won’t bring energy prices down in the near future. Climate change expert, Dr. Chris Jones has warned the government that this new plan is a:
“…weak response to the UK’s zero carbon energy needs. The regressive measures on fossil fuels won’t make any real impact on our bills and energy security, but they are enough to downgrade the UK’s role as a leader in tackling climate change.”