Low carbon energy has been placed at the front and centre of the UK’s long-awaited industrial strategy white paper.
In its ‘Industrial Strategy - Building a Britain fit for the future’, the UK government identified clean growth as one of four so-called Grand Challenges to “put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future”.
It said: “By one estimate, the UK’s clean economy could grow at four times the rate of GDP.”
“We will maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth – through leading the world in the development, manufacture and use of low carbon technologies, systems and services that cost less than high carbon alternatives.”
The UK government said it would continue to work closely with the offshore wind sector to “further drive down the costs of clean power, while building UK supply chains.”
The offshore wind industry has been working with Whitehall on a so-called Sector Deal with a installed capacity target of 30GW by 2030 and 50GW by 2050.
“We will be announcing that we intend to proceed with some further Sector Deal discussions in the New Year,” the white paper stated.
RenewableUK chief executive Hugh McNeal expressed disappointment the UK government did not namecheck onshore wind.
“Renewables are set to become the backbone of our modern energy system and the plummeting cost of wind power means onshore and offshore wind can help improve the competitiveness of UK industry.
“We are exporting our skills and knowledge worldwide, winning multi-million-pound contracts in wind and marine energy – if this industrial strategy fully supports these world-leading sectors, it can drive growth across all parts of the UK and create tens of thousands of high-value jobs.”
Renewable Energy Association chief executive Nina Skorupska said: “This Industrial Strategy recognises the technological revolution taking place across the energy and transport industries, and the value that specific sectors such as the bio-economy, energy efficient construction, and electric vehicles bring.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the government to develop the ‘Prospering from the Energy Revolution’ programme and Bioeconomy Strategy’, which must recognise the value of the full range of energy technologies that the UK is currently capable of deploying.”
SSE welcomed the publication of the White Paper saying the government has struck a balance between maintaining controls on cost for consumers, investing in people and developing a smarter energy.
system while continuing the UK’s progress in decarbonising its electricity and heat supply.