Government £12bn green recovery 10 point plan

Government £12bn green recovery 10 point plan

Ten-point £12bn Green Recovery economic spending plan announced by Boris Johnson.

Slowly but surely humanity is taking the upper hand in the fight against the virus. We have not won yet. There are still hard weeks and months to come. But with better drugs, testing and a range of vaccines, we know in our hearts that next year we will succeed. We will use science to rout the virus, and we must use the same extraordinary powers of invention to repair the economic damage from Covid-19, and to build back better.

Now is the time to plan for a green recovery with high-skilled jobs that give people the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to make the country cleaner, greener and more beautiful. Imagine Britain when a Green Industrial Revolution has helped to level up the country.

You cook breakfast using hydrogen power before getting in your electric car, having charged it overnight from batteries made in the Midlands. Around you the air is cleaner; trucks, trains, ships and planes run on hydrogen or synthetic fuel. British towns and regions — Teesside, Port Talbot, Port of Tyne, Merseyside and Mansfield — are now synonymous with green technology and jobs. This is where Britain’s ability to make hydrogen and capture carbon pioneered the decarbonisation of transport, industry and power.

My 10-point plan to get there will mobilise £12bn of government investment, and potentially three times as much from the private sector, to create and support up to 250,000 green jobs.

There will be electric vehicle technicians in the Midlands, construction and installation workers in the North East and Wales, specialists in advanced fuels in the North West, agroforestry practitioners in Scotland, and grid system installers everywhere. And we will help people train for these new green jobs through our Lifetime Skills Guarantee. Climate Capital Where climate change meets business, markets and politics.

This 10-point plan will turn the UK into the world’s number one centre for green technology and finance, creating the foundations for decades of economic growth.

One — we will make the UK the Saudi Arabia of wind with enough offshore capacity to power every home by 2030.

Two — we will turn water into energy with up to £500m of investment in hydrogen.

Three — we will take forward our plans for new nuclear power, from large scale to small and advanced modular reactors.

Four — we’ll invest more than £2.8bn in electric vehicles, lacing the land with charging points and creating long-lasting batteries in UK gigafactories. This will allow us to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in 2030. However, we will allow the sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe until 2035.

Five — we will have cleaner public transport, including thousands of green buses and hundreds of miles of new cycle lanes.

Six — we will strive to repeat the feat of Jack Alcock and Teddie Brown, who achieved the first nonstop transatlantic flight a century ago, with a zero emission plane. And we will do the same with ships.

Seven — we will invest £1bn next year to make homes, schools and hospitals greener, and energy bills lower.

Eight — we will establish a new world-leading industry in carbon capture and storage, backed by £1bn of government investment for clusters across the North, Wales and Scotland.

Nine — we will harness nature’s ability to absorb carbon by planting 30,000 hectares of trees a year by 2025 and rewilding 30,000 football pitches’ worth of countryside.

And ten — our £1bn energy innovation fund will help commercialise new low-carbon technologies, like the world’s first liquid air battery being developed in Trafford, and we will make the City of London the global centre for green finance through our sovereign bond, carbon offset markets and disclosure requirements.

This plan can be a global template for delivering net zero emissions in ways that create jobs and preserve our lifestyles.

On Wednesday I will meet UK businesses to discuss their contribution. We plan to provide clear timetables for the clean energy we will procure, details of the regulations we will change, and the carbon prices that we will put on emissions. I will establish a “task force net zero” committed to reaching net zero by 2050, and through next year’s COP26 summit we will urge countries and companies around the world to join us in delivering net zero globally. Green and growth can go hand-in-hand. So let us meet the most enduring threat to our planet with one of the most innovative and ambitious programmes of job-creation we have known.

Words by Prime Minister Boris Johnson

 

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Rolls-Royce plans mini nuclear reactors by 2029

Rolls-Royce plans mini nuclear reactors by 2029

Mini nuclear reactors could be generating power in the UK by the end of the decade.

Manufacturer Rolls-Royce has told the BBC’s Today programme that it plans to install and operate factory-built power stations by 2029.

Mini nuclear reactor stations can be mass manufactured and delivered in chunks on the back of a lorry, which makes costs more predictable.

But opponents say the UK should quit nuclear power altogether.

They say the country should concentrate on cheaper renewable energy instead.

Environmentalists are divided over nuclear power, with some maintaining it is dangerous and expensive, while others say that to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 all technologies are needed.

However, the industry is confident that mini nuclear reactors can compete on price with low-cost renewables such as offshore wind.

Rolls-Royce is leading a consortium to build small modular reactors (SMRs) and install them in former nuclear sites in Cumbria or in Wales. Ultimately, the company thinks it will build between 10 and 15 of the stations in the UK. They are about 1.5 acres in size – sitting in a 10-acre space. That is a 16th of the size of a major power station such as Hinkley Point.

SMRs are so small that theoretically every town could have its own reactor – but using existing sites avoids the huge problem of how to secure them against terrorist attacks.

It is a rare positive note from the nuclear industry, which has struggled as the cost of renewables has plummeted.

In the past few years, major nuclear projects have been abandoned as Japanese companies Toshiba and Hitachi pulled out because they could not get the required funding.

And the construction of Hinkley Point in Somerset could cost £3bn more than was expected, in an echo of the row over the rail mega-project HS2.

“The trick is to have prefabricated parts where we use advanced digital welding methods and robotic assembly and then parts are shipped to site and bolted together,” said Paul Stein, the chief technology officer at Rolls-Royce.

He said the approach would dramatically reduce the cost of building nuclear power sites, which would lead to cheaper electricity.

But Paul Dorfman from University College London said: “The potential cost benefits of assembly line module construction relative to custom-build on-site construction may prove overstated.

“Production line mistakes may lead to generic defects that propagate throughout an entire fleet of reactors and are costly to fix,” he warned.

“It’s far more economic to build one 1.2 GW unit than a dozen 100 MW units.”

Rolls-Royce is hoping to overcome the cost barrier by selling SMRs abroad to achieve economies of scale.

Its critics have warned that SMRs will not be ready in substantial numbers until the mid 2030s, by which time electricity needs to be carbon-free in the UK already to meet climate change targets.

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