- Government announces reforms to speed up grid connections and compensate households living near new grid infrastructure, but overall package is not enough to keep UK in the clean tech race.
- Failure to bring down energy bills, even though they have doubled in three years and are projected to rise a further £100 in January 2024.
- E3G calls for major ramp up in green public investment and a Net Zero Investment Plan to boost UK prosperity, strengthen UK energy security and bring down energy bills.
The Chancellor has made a series of announcements in his Autumn Statement to support green energy and industry:
- £3 billion of investment in green industry, including £2 billion for the automotive sector and £1 billion for hydrogen, CCS, nuclear and offshore wind.
- Planning reforms to speed up grid connections and provide up to £10,000 over ten years for those living near new grid infrastructure.
However, these are not enough to keep the UK economy competitive and come on the back of announcements in October by the Prime Minister to weaken net zero regulations. Furthermore, none of these measures will lead to energy bills being cut this winter, despite the fact that energy bills have doubled in the last three years and are projected to increase by a further £100 this winter. Existing energy efficiency schemes are failing to deliver.
The announcements are also not enough to keep the UK in the race to zero, with the UK continuing to lose out to the US and EU on investment in net zero technologies. £3 billion over five years in additional green industry spending will hardly make a difference in keeping the UK competitive. In contrast the United States government has boosted the US green economy by $369 billion under the Inflation Reduction Act and is expected to cut emissions by 40% while raising revenue of over $737 billion.
Ed Matthew, Campaigns Director at E3G said:
“The UK has fallen behind the US, EU and China in clean tech investment and the announcements today are not enough to get us back in the race. Whilst reforms to speed up grid connections and boost funding for green industry are helpful, there is no credible net zero investment plan and no green industrial strategy. This response is incoherent, too little and too late.”
On energy efficiency and clean heat, Juliet Phillips, E3G Senior Policy Advisor said:
“Mention of the gas crisis and energy bills were noticeably missing from today’s Autumn Statement – even though this winter is set to be even tougher than last for many, including those on the sharpest end of fuel poverty.
Energy efficiency and clean heat are the long-term solutions that will reduce household exposure to volatile fossil fuel markets. However, major gaps remain. In particular, private renters have drawn the short straw. Following the recent pledge to landlords that the Conservatives “will never” implement regulations that would require private rented homes to be upgraded, landlords have next to no incentive to invest in energy saving measures. Millions of private rented households are stuck in cold, mouldy and leaky properties – including 1.6 million children – with no plan from the government to address this.”
On green investment, Heather McKay, E3G Senior Policy Advisor said:
“Unlocking private sector investment into clean technology at scale is mission-critical to safeguard the British economy from future energy price shocks and delivering growth. An underwhelming bump of £3 billion in green funding and the failure to announce a comprehensive and credible Net Zero Investment Plan means today’s announcement fall far short. Without this Plan which has been demanded by private sector leaders with over £10 trillion in assets, the government will be left firefighting crises instead of capturing the biggest economic opportunity the 21st Century.”
On electricity, Susanna Elks, E3G Senior Policy Advisor said:
“The announcements today to speed up grid connections and compensate households living near new grid infrastructure are welcome. The government has rightly noted that clean, green power generation will be the backbone of the economy of the future, and that speeding up planning applications and grid connections will be key to unlocking this opportunity.
But further action is urgently needed to unblock onshore renewables projects, develop a comprehensive power sector decarbonisation plan, and ensure all consumers benefit from the transition to cheaper, more secure renewable energy.”
Available for comment
Heather McKay, E3G Senior Policy Advisor – finance, investment, UK Net Zero Investment Plan
+44 (0) 7955 597676, email@example.com
Juliet Phillips, E3G Senior Policy Advisor – green homes, PRS, energy efficiency, heat pumps
+44 (0) 7548 097 061, firstname.lastname@example.org
Susanna Elks, E3G Senior Policy Advisor – power, UK grid, renewable energy
+44 (0) 7577 110 942, email@example.com
Jonny Peters, E3G Senior Policy Advisor – trade, CBAM, Energy Charter Treaty
+44 (0) 7954 201 039, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed Matthew, E3G Campaigns Director – UK politics and policy
+44 (0) 7827 157 906, email@example.com
Notes to Editors
- E3G is an independent climate change think tank with a global outlook. We work on the frontier of the climate landscape, tackling the barriers and advancing the solutions to a safe climate. Our goal is to translate climate politics, economics and policies into action. About – E3G
- For further enquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +44 (0) 7783 787 863