On 19th October 2021, the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy released their net-zero strategy to ‘build back greener’; a proposal that outlined policies for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy to meet our net-zero target by 2050.
Some key proposals announced in the 400-page strategy included, as suspected, an initiative to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. The document outlines that in addition to no longer manufacturing or selling these vehicles, all cars must be fully zero-emissions capable by 2035. Further funding of £620m was announced for the transition to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, with a special focus on residential streets.
Building on their zero-emission vehicle goal, the document also revealed an ambition for the UK to become a “world-leader in zero-emission flight” with the goal of ensuring 10% of aviation fuel is sustainable by 2030 and announcing £180m funding for the development of sustainable aviation fuel plants.
Further investments into 5GW of hydrogen production capacity and a move towards clean electricity were also on the cards. The energy transition will involve at least one new large nuclear plant by 2024 and a new £120m fund to develop technology for a possible future reaction. A large focus, however, remained on renewables to reach the target of powering the UK entirely with clean electricity by 2035. The proposal outlined a goal of 40GW of offshore wind by 2030 and the facilitation of more onshore wind and solar energy supplies.
The final eye-catching announcement was the grants to help upgrade home heating systems from gas boilers to heat pumps. The proposal outlined £5,000 grants for 90,000 households to install home heat pumps and other low-carbon heating systems over the next 3 years. Although heat pumps are a very expensive alternative to gas boilers, the government is hoping these grants will help bring costs to similar levels for the rest of Britain’s homes. It is undetermined whether the Government will eventually ban gas boilers altogether, though it seems there will come a time where there is no other alternative.
View the full strategy here.