IIt’s always interesting to see my opinions through the lens of a newspaper that break away from what I think. Although I am not a fan of Extinction Rebellion, I can assure Guardian readers that I am not a “green energy skeptic”. I support net zero smart in which green energy plays the biggest role.
I am proud to belong to a country that has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% since 1990, while the economy has grown by more than 70% in that time.
In light of this, we can achieve our commitments to net zero by 2050, as the dark demonic windmills are replaced by onshore and offshore wind farms. But if the Green Agenda does not provide economic growth, it will ultimately not have political support and be useless.
Getting Brits on board with net zero requires us to prove that we can go into the environment in a way that makes them better, not worse, that drives growth rather than hinders it and that spurs investment and innovation rather than pushing traditional industries to the brink of ruin. The impact we are having on energy-intensive industries increases carbon emissions as we import more from abroad while destroying high paying jobs in the UK.
There are ways to make this state-sponsored work. keep in mind CFDs Scheme. This program has grown to support a plentiful array of renewable energy sources, from onshore to offshore wind, solar to tidal and from wind on distant islands to energy production from waste – all while cutting costs and growing the economy. The drive to produce up to 50 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030 means this sector alone must grow to support 90,000 jobs.
The scheme successfully weathered demands for upfront capital and settled the uncertainties of generators dealing with volatile wholesale prices. It has stimulated £90 billion of investment in renewables since 2012 and has contributed to a fivefold increase in electricity generation from renewable sources over the decade. The last auction round last year awarded 93 new contracts for 11 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity – enough to power 12 million homes.
In 2010, renewables made up only 7% of UK electricity generation. Programs like Contracts for Difference mean that renewables are now converging 40% of our needs, reduce our dependence on authoritarian regimes like Russia and strengthen our domestic energy sector. The war in Ukraine has cast a sharp light on the need to rapidly increase our domestic energy supply and enhance our energy security, from all forms of renewable energy to nuclear energy and our domestic oil and gas reserves, which are of course greener than shipping LNG. From outside.
This is why our recently announced growth plan will accelerate the delivery of major infrastructure projects including onshore and offshore wind farms. This plan will also boost the UK’s emerging hydrogen industry, which will operate in unison with both the renewable energy and gas sectors.
The Government will also align its onshore wind planning policy with other infrastructure to allow for its more easily deployed in England. We understand how strong some people feel about the impact of wind turbines in England. The plans will preserve the ability of local communities to contribute to the proposals, including developing local partnerships for communities who want to see new onshore wind infrastructure in return for benefits such as lower energy bills.
We are exploring options to support low-cost financing to help families meet the initial costs of solar installation, allowable development rights to support more small-scale solar deployment in commercial environments and design performance criteria to further encourage renewable energy sources, including solar PV, in homes and new buildings.
We also need to focus on another key part of our energy infrastructure, strengthening the grid so that renewable electricity can be transported to homes and businesses across the country. Network connectivity is often on the critical path to getting a new renewable infrastructure online, which is why I’m committed to significantly reducing timelines for building new network infrastructure. But in exchange for the unprecedented subsidies being given to renewable energy companies, they must charge consumers and taxpayers a fair price for the energy they produce.
By separating the price of renewable energy from the most expensive form of production, today’s gas, and converting these companies into contracts for difference, the government is providing the renewable energy sector with long-term stability and an affordable price to industry and consumers alike.
The Energy billPresented this week, it will enhance energy security and prevent Putin from levying ransoms on our energy policy. It also has the potential to save British billpayers billions of pounds, without deterring core investment in low carbon generation as we move towards net zero.
Given the stakes, it is important that the public debate around net zero and energy security is strong and vibrant, but I hope my commitment to making it a reality is clear.