The UK Government published a group of policy plans related to decarbonisation and energy initiatives earlier this month. The policy package, called “Powering Up Britain”, addresses energy security and net zero growth plans, and contains three main documents.
The first document outlines net zero actions the UK has already taken. The second document is a net zero growth plan which details action the government wants to take by 2030 and beyond. The final document details plans to deliver energy security in the UK.
The package outlines plans to maximise offshore oil and gas production in the UK, stating the first licences for production are expected to be awarded in the first quarter of 2023. It also mentions the ongoing efforts of the Gas and Oil New Projects Regulatory Accelerators, a cross-regulatory initiative seeking to speed up project approval times and advance production dates for projects that already have licenses.
Nuclear energy and carbon capture will also play a major role in the UK’s energy plans, as outlined in “Powering Up Britain”.
To lead the delivery of new nuclear projects and meet the government’s target of 24 GW of new nuclear by 2050, a new organisation called Great British Nuclear (GBN) will be established. The publication itself does not outline a timeline for new projects or how they will be funded, but the Government has stated it intends to finalise Sizewell C’s investment decision by the end of this Parliament (which is anticipated to be at the end of 2024), as well as two additional nuclear projects by the end of the next Parliament.
In addition to the £20 billion set aside in the Spring Budget for the early deployment of Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) technology, the Government pledges to start the deployment of new clusters to advance its targets of carbon capture.
Critics noted the policy package was an evolution of the UK’s Net Zero plans. While a number of measures will be of interest to UK businesses, the package does not outline a radical change from the government’s previous positions other targets, critics added.
As the climate crisis takes centre stage, the public is demanding stronger net zero targets from authorities and businesses.
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