Energy White Paper: £2.3bn for electrification of vehicles

Plans to remove 7.5 million petrol cars-worth of carbon emissions from transportation and the wider energy industry have been announced by the government.

Setting out its long-delayed Energy White Paper, the government plans to invest £1.3bn into accelerating the rollout of charge points for electric vehicles in homes, streets and on motorways – as well as up to £1bn to support the electrification of cars, including for the mass-production of the batteries needed for electric vehicles.

The roll-out will see up to 169,000 jobs in the automotive sector due to the transition towards electricification of vehicles in the UK – with a focus on the manufacturing bases of the midlands and north east of England.

The Paper calls for support of 220,000 jobs in the energy economy within the next ten years with roles in carbon capture and hydrogen, infrastructure, and energy efficiency.

At the heart of the plan is green growth with decarbonised power and emission-free electricity by 2050 produced alongside a doubling of demand due to low carbon heating and electrification of transportation.

Plans also include a UK emissions trading scheme from January 2021 to replace the EU scheme – and funding from the private sector for new facilities in nuclear power. Additionally, the Paper outlines commitments to 40GW of offshore wind by 2030, including 1GW of floating wind. An investment of £1bn into carbon capture storage has also been announced with four clusters set up by 2030, including a net-zero cluster from 2040.

The government also wants to kick-start the hydrogen economy by working with industry to aim for 5GW of production by 2030, backed up by a new £240m net zero Hydrogen Fund for low carbon hydrogen production.

Building on the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, the Energy White Paper sets out specific steps the government will take over the next decade to cut emissions from industry, transport, and buildings by 230 million metric tonnes – equivalent to taking 7.5 million petrol cars off the road permanently – while supporting hundreds of thousands of new green jobs.

We will put affordability at the heart of the UK’s decisive shift away from fossil fuels by boosting competition in the energy retail market to tackle the ‘loyalty penalty’ – longstanding customers who pay more than new ones – and by providing at least £6.7 billion in support to the fuel poor and most vulnerable over the next 6 years.

Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Through a major programme of investment and reform, we are determined to both decarbonise our economy in the most cost-effective way, while creating new sunrise industries and revitalising our industrial heartlands that will support new green jobs for generations to come.

“At every step of the way, we will place affordability and fairness at the heart of our reforms – unleashing a wave of competition so consumers get the best deals possible on their bills, while protecting the vulnerable and fuel poor with additional financial support.

“With this long-term plan, we are turning climate ambition into climate action – putting the UK firmly on the course to net zero to end our contribution to climate change as we build back greener.”

Emma Pinchbeck, Chief Executive at Energy UK, said: “The energy industry will do our bit to innovate, supporting our customers so that they benefit from the net zero transition and investing in the green infrastructure we need – but clear policies from government help us do that. This is what the White Paper – and other publications over the next year – should provide.”

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