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UK Government Reveals it’s ‘Green Day’ Energy Security Plan But Does It Go Far Enough?

UK Government Reveals it’s ‘Green Day’ Energy Security Plan But Does It Go Far Enough?

Net zero secretary, Grant Shapps has announced plans to ‘power up’ Britain with new energy security measures on a day which was previously named ‘Green Day’ but has now been called the ‘Energy Security Day’.

The new plan comes after Conservative MP, Chris Skidmore submitted his critical Net Zero Review, the latest report from the UK Climate Change Committee was published and last year’s High Court ruling that the government’s Net Zero Strategy was inadequate. The UK government was ordered to revise its policies and provide extra data on how the pledge to hit zero carbon emissions by 2050 would actually work, by the end of March 2023. Chris Skidmore’s review called for 25 actions by 2025 which included the rapid rollout of onshore wind and solar panels. The Climate Change Committee Report described Britain as ‘strikingly unprepared’ for global warming.

A master 30-page strategy titled Powering Up Britain along with dozens of other documents covering things like electric vehicles and sustainable finance was published on ‘Green Day’.

It’s not clear, however, whether this strategy will really power up Britain or if the cash is new money or simply part of funds already promised.

Here’s the list of ‘Green Day’ measures unveiled on the 30th of March:

  1. Streamline planning permission for solar and offshore wind – the government has committed to reforming the planning process of energy infrastructure specifically mentioning solar power and offshore wind to speed up the process and attract investment
  • £160 million investment in emerging floating offshore wind – the fund is intended to support port infrastructure projects
  • £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen fund – the investment will back new green hydrogen production projects
  1. New £30 million Heat Pump Investment Accelerator – it is assumed that this will be separate from the Heat Pump Investment Accelerator competition announced in 2022. It will use £270 million private investment to boost manufacturing and supply of heat pumps
  2. Launch of the Great British Insulation Scheme – a rebranded ECO+, this scheme will upgrade 300,00 of the UK’s least energy efficient homes
  3. £350 million to grow UK electric vehicle (EV) charging network – the funding will support the rollout of EV charge points throughout the UK. A minimum percentage of manufacturers’ new car and van sales will be required to be zero emission from 2024
  4. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme will be extended to 2028
  5. Further £10 billion capacity to boost exports (including clean growth sectors) – the funding will be provided to UK Export Finance
  1. Investment in EV transition and sustainable aviation fuel – the funding is hoped to build a stable environment for businesses
  2.  Rollout of the first Carbon Capture Usage and Storage clusters – building on the £20 billion Carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) funding the investment is designed to showcase the UK’s “world leading commitment” to CCUS.

The government’s energy security plan also included a couple of schemes that have already been announced which are:


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  • Great British Nuclear (GBN) – this was originally announced as part of the Spring Budget 2023. GBN will be led by Simon Bowen as interim Chair and Gwen Parry-Jones OBE as interim Chief Executive Officer to support new nuclear builds in the race to net zero; the GBN is set to launch a competition to select the best Small Modular Reactor technologies for development by Autumn 2023
  • £205 million budget for the fifth Contracts for Difference funding round – this was announced by the UK Government on 16 March 2023

Though the new Energy Security plan contains ambitious measures ‘to scale up affordable, clean, homegrown power and build thriving green industries’ industry bodies have warned that the UK risks falling behind its rivals in the global green energy race as they have failed to adequately fund the new policies. The announcement of the Energy Security Plan was billed as a response to US President Joe Biden’s game-changing Inflation Reduction Act and the EU’s Green Deal.

Despite the decarbonisation initiatives being referred to collectively as an “energy revolution” the new measures have been condemned as failing to offer anything new. Wind and tidal energy body, Renewable UK has warned that the new energy security plan does not go far enough to attract the investment that is needed in the renewable energy sector.

Executive director of policy, Renewable UK, Ana Musat said:

“We need much bolder action to secure Britain’s clean energy future. Global competition for investment in renewable energy projects is fiercer than ever, and the UK risks falling behind and surrendering our global lead.”

Although heat pumps and floating wind turbines received a funding boost, the biggest share of policies geared towards energy generation and easing household bills had already been confirmed by the government before the so called ‘Green Day’.

This included the £20bn investment in carbon capture usage and storage, a £240m net zero hydrogen fund, and a £205m auction round for offshore wind.

Greg Jackson, chief executive of Octopus Energy had a more positive take on Green Day’s policy proposals.

He told City A.M.:

“I am delighted the government is looking to remove outdated levies from electricity bills” and argued that “redoubling its commitment to heat pumps is hugely welcome.”

Semih Oztreves, from clean energy player ZenobÄ“, said that the plan offered “some beacons of hope” but emphasised that “we can’t afford any more delays”.

Despite the number of consultations, investment incentives and renamed efficiency drives, climate experts are not convinced that the numbers that come out on net zero will add up.

Dustin Benton, policy director at Green Alliance said:

“I’m pretty confident that the numbers that come out on net zero won’t add up. “That was obviously why they lost the court case. And that could be one reason why they’re trying to emphasize the energy security side of things.”

Climate experts and renewable energy specialists are looking beyond all the hype around the new ‘Green day’ measures and watching carefully to see where the gaps are in the government’s new plan.

For example, it’s not clear whether the £30m pledged to help boost the manufacturing and supply of heat pumps in the UK is new or whether it comes out of the previously announced £1bn fund.

Many in the renewable energy industry are disappointed that the government didn’t aim higher on the millions of homes that need insulating. Cara Jenkinson, cities manager at climate solutions charity Ashden said that the new insulation plans amounted to an announcement of “all padding and no substance”.

The government still hasn’t lifted the de facto ban on onshore wind which could provide cheaper power and also be relatively quick to build. Onshore wind developments are currently still bogged down by onerous planning conditions.

Prof Richard Cochrane, associate professor in renewable energy at Exeter University said:

“The government still has not understood the priorities and urgency here. “Onshore wind is the cheapest and quickest option” to boost domestic energy security.”

Nick Molho, who runs the Aldersgate Group of businesses and civil society groups believes that there are significant gaps in the latest plan.

“Further policy detail in areas like home energy efficiency and heating, heavy industry and surface transport is urgently required to meet the challenge presented by increased global competition from the US and the EU and attract the scale of private investment needed in the UK’s low carbon infrastructure.

Plugging these outstanding policy gaps must be accompanied by the creation of a Net Zero Delivery Body as recommended by the Skidmore review.”


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Richard is a seasoned director and a respected authority in the field of renewable energy, leveraging his extensive experience working with and for large PLC's in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering & Construction) industry.

He has worked on hundreds of projects across the United Kingdom like HS2 and other major critical highways and infrastructure projects, both for the public and private sectors.

He is one of the chief driving forces behind the creation, development, and management of The Renewable Energy Hub, your premier online destination for sustainable energy knowledge and resources.


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