United Kingdom to conduct next clean energy auctions worth GBP557m in 2019

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"The government will help British businesses and entrepreneurs to seize the opportunities which the global low carbon economy presents, from electric vehicles to offshore wind".

"We have been a global climate leader, but if we set out plans that don't meet our own targets to meet the global threat of climate change, then we will have so much further to go to meet the more ambitious worldwide ones agreed in Paris".

However, the Aldersgate Group, an alliance of leaders from business and politics who are pushing for a sustainable economy, said the clean growth strategy sets the UK's economy on a competitive path. "They have listened to the industry by providing a clearer longer-term trajectory for improving the energy efficiency standards of existing homes, and adopted our own aspiration for upgrading as many of these as possible to EPC Band C by 2035".

The plans were broadly welcomed by the energy industry, but some specific policies drew criticism. However, it is still a downgrade to the £1bn worth of CCS funding which was unexpectedly pulled by the government in 2015. In addition, up to £20 million will be used to demonstrate the viability of switching to low carbon fuels for industry. Funding is also earmarked for low emission taxis and buses, as well as walking and cycling.

Less established renewable energy projects will include offshore wind, biomass, energy-from-waste technologies and combined heat and power projects.

Parallel to the publication of the Government's Clean Growth Strategy was the announcement of the country's third Contracts for Difference renewable energy auction, which will compete for £557 million to go towards "less established" renewable electricity projects - likely to include offshore wind and marine technologies like tidal and wave energy generation.

The highly anticipated strategy comes nine months after it was promised, having been beset by delays from political events such as last year's European Union membership referendum, subsequent Brexit negotiations and June's General Election.

UK Energy Minister, Richard Harrington said: "The government's Clean Growth Strategy will set out how the whole of the UK can benefit from the global move to a low carbon economy".

Pressure had been mounting on the government to raise its ambition in today's plan, as decarbonisation policies outlined before today left the United Kingdom well short of what is required to meet the fourth and fifth carbon budgets, covering the periods 2023-2032.

Wednesday saw the UK Government launch its new Clean Growth Strategy which sets out how to grow the national economy while simultaneously cutting greenhouse gas emissions.



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