The UK government had its “Energy Security Day” on March 30th, 2023, which was followed by a couple of publications that aim to deliver a plan for the promised emissions cuts by the country. The suite of documents that were released map out the government’s proposals to strengthen Britain’s long-term energy security and independence with a focus entirely on its green future, targets, and commitments.
The UK Government published an updated Energy Security Plan, and a vision for “Powering Up Britain”.
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UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak commented that measures introduced in the plan would help respond to “soaring” household energy bills. They would also ensure the country’s energy security in the long-run via the more affordable clean energy.
“We have stepped in to shield people from its worst impacts by helping to pay around half the typical energy bill… That’s why we’re driving forward plans to boost renewables, revive nuclear and build new thriving industries like carbon capture, which will in turn create good jobs across the country, provide new opportunities for British businesses at home and abroad, and maintain our world-leading action to reach net-zero,” said Mr Sunak.
Carbon Capture Clusters Confirmed
The two papers “Powering Up Britain: Energy Security Plan” and “Powering Up Britain – Joint Overview” confirm the selected two clusters from Track-1 that will move forward and receive UK financial support. The first two carbon capture and storage clusters are the HyNet Cluster (in the North West) and the East Coast Cluster (in the North East).
East Coast Cluster is comprised of three low-carbon projects:
- Net Zero Teesside Power
- bpH2 Teesside
- Teesside Hydrogen CO2 Capture
The projects part of the HyNet Cluster are:
- Hanson Padeswood Cement Works Carbon Capture and Storage Project
- Viridor Runcorn Industrial CCS
- Protos Energy Recovery Facility
- Buxton Lime Net Zero
- HyNet Hydrogen Production Plant 1 (HPP1)
The Government also released the forward timeline for selecting the next “Track-2” CCUS clusters that have to become operational by 2030 and further clarity regarding the Track 1 expansion process.
The UK announced the successful applicants of the first competition window for Strands 1 and 2 of the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, aiming to deliver the country’s target of 5 GW of installed hydrogen capacity by 2030. The Fund provides up to £240 million of grant funding to projects developing low-carbon hydrogen production. The successful applicants can be found here.
Addressing Carbon Leakage Consultation
The UK government also launched a public consultation on “addressing carbon leakage” that could lead to the introduction of a carbon border tax on CO2-intensive goods. During the Energy Security Day, UK prime minister Rishi Sunak also said that Britain and the EU could work together closer to co-ordinate moves on a new carbon border tax that would place a levy on the imported CO2-intensive goods.
The consultation that was launched this week, will cover potential policy areas like introducing a ‘carbon border adjustment mechanism’ (CBAM), mandatory product standards and measures to help grow the market for low carbon products.
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It is open to all interested parties both in the UK and internationally, but the government welcomes interest from companies and representatives from industry, importers, exporters of products, etc. The consultation can be found here, and will close at 11:59pm on 22 June 2023.
The set of measures introduced by the UK government is an improvement of previously announced plans and confirmed formerly known commitments. Thanks to political responsibility and push from the community, the UK has the optimal policy environment to decarbonize and become one of the first true net zero economies in the world.