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UK Gov plan multi billion £ energy investment

4C Offshore | Chloe Emanuel
By: Chloe Emanuel 30/03/2023

Energy Security Secretary outlines steps to strengthen Britain's long-term energy security and independence to help deliver a renewable focused future for the country.

Plans to scale up affordable, renewable, home-grown power and build green industries in Britain have been unveiled by the government today - potentially boosting the country’s energy security and independence.

After decades of reliance on importing foreign fossil fuels, the government is delivering a shift in our energy system towards renewable, more affordable energy sources to power more of Britain, from Britain.

In doing so, plans will aim to help deliver on the Prime Minister’s promise to grow the economy across the country, supporting the proposed plans to generate almost half a million new jobs by 2030, creating a strategic advantage in new industries, and generating opportunities for UK businesses to export their expertise around the world.

Building on government action taken since 2021, measures announced today include:

- Kickstarting investment into the UK’s emerging floating offshore wind industry by launching the £160 million fund to support port infrastructure projects.

- Opening the fifth round of the UK’s scheme to generate investment in renewable electricity, backed by a budget of £205 million. Now being held annually, Contracts for Difference will aim to build on the UK levy-funded support for renewable power since 2010 of around £80 billion.

- Speeding up the planning process to attract investment. Reforming the planning process in the hopes of enabling the building of more energy infrastructure including offshore wind projects quicker.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
said: "We have stepped in to shield people from its worst impacts by helping to pay around half the typical energy bill. But we are also stepping up to power Britain and ensure our energy security in the long term with more affordable, clean energy from Britain, so we can drive down energy prices and grow our economy."

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt
said: "Transforming our energy system is no longer just about tackling climate change, it is also a matter of national security. To protect ourselves from future price spikes, we need to accelerate the move to cleaner, cheaper, home-grown energy."

This will aim to drive renewable growth at home and abroad as well as aiming to see British businesses set the standard for a secure future.

Building on the COP26 Presidency and the Governments role in agreeing the Global Biodiversity Framework, the UK will aim to continue to lead international action in tackling climate change and biodiversity loss, working with partners and delivering on the £11.6 billion International Climate Finance commitment. The 2030 Strategic Framework for International Climate and Nature Action and the International Climate Finance Strategy set out today what this will look like in practice.

Measures which are also to be announced today include:

- Accelerating deployment of renewables: The government opens the bidding for the fifth round of funding through the Contracts for Difference Scheme, for an initial budget of £205 million, in hopes to support new renewable energy projects across the country alongside private investment.
On top of this, Grant Shapps is aiming to launch the Floating Offshore Wind Manufacturing Scheme, aiming to provide up to £160 million to kick start the investment in port infrastructure projects needed to deliver floating offshore wind ambitions.

- Speeding up planning: A new set of revised Energy National Policy Statements for consultation which aim to speed up planning approvals for the energy infrastructure needed to power homes and businesses with low carbon technologies such as offshore wind.  An investigation by the Electricity Networks Commissioner will examine what else can be done to speed up network infrastructure, with recommendations delivered to Ministers by approximately June. A consultation has also been launched, which aims to help local communities benefit from the development of new network infrastructure in their area.

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