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UK launches new energy security strategy

We look at key announcements from, and respond to, the government's Powering Up Britain plans.

The UK government has this morning published Powering Up Britain, a plan which serves as its response to Chris Skidmore's Independent Net Zero Review and the annual update to its Net Zero Strategy

On launching the initiative, the government stated that, "The transition required to meet our net zero, climate resilience and environmental objectives will require significant further private investment across all areas of the economy .

"We are in an increasingly competitive international race to secure this investment and so the UK government is committed to act now. We will answer investor and industry calls to provide the long-term certainty, strategic de-risking, and confidence to invest in the technologies and infrastructure necessary to deliver our green investment objectives." 

Key developments include: 

  • An update to the UK's Green Finance Strategy, recognising that most of the additional £50-60bn in investment needed to deliver net zero over the years ahead will need to come from the private sector, and highlighting the role of the UK Infrastructure Bank "with its £22 billion of financial capital." 
  • A commitment to deliver the Energy Bill currently making its way through parliament, "providing a clear signal to industry and investors." 
  • The launch of the latest allocation round for the UK's Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme alongside £160m in funding for port infrastructure aimed at reducing the cost of offshore wind. 
  • The release of further details regarding development of a new Great British Nuclear agency, supporting an ambition to increase nuclear capacity to 24GW by 2050 - "the first priority of GBN is to launch a competitive process to select the best Small Modular Reactor technologies."
  • More information about development of carbon capture, usage and storage clusters in the north east and north west of England alongside announcement of the first winners of the £240m Net Zero Hydrogen Fund. 
  • The announcement of £350m worth of investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and consultation "on a long-term trajectory for Sustainable Aviation Fuel uptake in the UK through a mandate to be introduced from 2025." 
  • A pledge, following publication of the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) Action Plan earlier this year, to publish an action plan for accelerating grid delivery later in 2023. 

Responding to the announcements, Acting GIIA CEO Jon Phillips said: "It's good to see the UK government reiterating its commitment to working with private investors to deliver a more secure, more sustainable energy network across the UK. 

"We now look forward to the substantive autumn response to the US Inflation Reduction Act and Green Deal Industrial Plan that we were promised at the Spring Statement. 

"The government rightly acknowledges the need to keep up in a global race to attract sustainable investment."