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.
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.
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.
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.
The Crown Estate has signed agreements for lease (AfL) for six proposed offshore wind farm extensions in the waters around England and Wales totalling 2800 MW.
AfL’s have been granted for extensions to the existing Sheringham Shoal, Dudgeon, Gwynt y Mor, Galloper, Greater Gabbard and Rampion projects.
The Crown Estate said the six project AfLs come in addition to the one for the proposed extension to Thanet offshore wind farm, announced previously.
It said each proposal had successfully progressed through the plan level Habitats Regulations Assessment stage, which assesses the possible impact of the proposed wind farm extensions on relevant nature conservation sites of European importance.
Developers will now be focussed on environmental assessments and surveys, before seeking planning consent through the statutory planning process and securing connections to the grid, The Crown Estate added.
The Gwynt y Mor extension is called Awel y Mor and is located off the coast of North Wales in the Irish Sea.
Its capacity will be up to 576 MW of which RWE owns 60%, with Stadtwerke Munchen (30%) and Siemens Financial Services (10%) owning the remainder.
RWE has formed a 50:50 joint venture with SSE Renewables to develop the 504 MW Greater Gabbard extension, which is now called North Falls.
Rampion 2 has a potential capacity of up to 1.2 GW of which RWE’s share is 50.01%, with a Macquarie-led consortium and Enbridge also part of the development’s joint venture.
RWE said it has also decided to seek to develop the remaining seabed option at the original Zone Six of the existing Rampion project and combine this with the extension project at the wind farm.
The 353 MW Galloper extension is called Five Estuaries, with development lead by RWE.
Equinor is developing the up to 719 MW Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon extensions.
The Crown Estate head of energy development Will Apps said: “Reaching this stage marks an important milestone in the UK portfolio, demonstrating strong market appetite and further strengthening the UK offshore wind pipeline.
“Extensions projects offer a valuable way of enabling new, low cost offshore wind capacity, making efficient use of our world-class seabed resources and building on developers’ existing project knowledge and infrastructure.
“Each project has the potential to play a vital role in supporting the nation’s clean energy transition and we look forward to following their progress as they move through the planning process.”
RWE said that all the project extensions the company is involved with are at very early stages.
It said necessary development and consenting activities will now progress in accordance with current UK Government guidelines, which will include comprehensive stakeholder consultation and determining each project’s exact installed capacity.
The consenting processes are expected to take three to five years, with the wind farms slated to become fully operational towards the end of the decade.
RWE Renewables chief commercial officer Tom Glover said: “RWE looks back on many years of experience in the UK offshore wind industry, working hand in hand with the communities where our renewables projects are located.
“I expect the four offshore wind extension projects to bring significant benefits to the UK energy infrastructure and economy.
“They present a potential multi-billion pound investment and could grow the local supply chain as well as lead to the creation of hundreds of jobs.”
SSE Renewables director of capital projects Paul Cooley said: “North Falls offshore wind farm will build on the successful offshore wind legacy in the East of England.
“We’re looking forward to working with RWE Renewables to create more clean energy, create more jobs and move towards a net zero future.”
Plans to build Kaimes Renewable Energy Park including a solar farm and a gas power station on the edge of Edinburgh with the capacity to power 30,000 homes have been submitted.
Developers want to build a 38-hectare renewable energy development comprising solar panels, battery storage, flexible gas generation and associated infrastructure next to an existing electricity substation by Old Burdiehouse Road at Kaimes, very close to the A720 city bypass.
The proposed park would function to provide “resilience to the power network and some baseload electricity”.
The developers, a consortium going by the name Kaimes Renewable Energy Park, have no connection to the existing Kaimes electrical substation and its owners Scottish Power.
Agents representing the consortium refused to identify the company behind the project when contacted on Monday.
A majority of the proposed energy park will be taken up by solar panels capable of producing up to 12 megawatts of electricity.
The panels will be organised in lines, with each line being mounted onto aluminium frames.
Panels will be tilted to face south towards the sun and are expected to be no higher than 2.2m.
Next to the proposed solar farm and adjacent to the existing Kaimes electricity substation will be around 15 battery storage units.
The units, which would be similar in size and appearance to a standard shipping container, are capable of providing up to 30 megawatts of power and will allow the solar panels to generate power which can be stored and exported to the National Grid.
Proposals for the park also include approximately 12 gas generators, capable of producing 20 megawatts.
The gas generators would be connected directly to the battery storage units and would provide an additional rapid response to supplement and occasionally recharge the batteries.
Kaimes Renewable Energy Park said that gas-fired generation is currently necessary because “batteries do not yet provide a viable economic return on their own”.
However, the generators “will comply with all relevant noise and emissions legislation”.
Due to the coronavirus crisis no physical public consultation process relating to the proposals can take place.
Cleve Hill Solar Park, the UK’s biggest solar farm will be built between Faversham and Whitstable, after the government gave the project the go-ahead. The 900-acre site at Graveney will house almost 900,000 solar panels. It aims to produce power for more than 90,000 homes. Backers of the scheme say cleaner energy is the way forward while others say the countryside will be damaged by the development.
The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Alok Sharma has granted development consent for the UKs largest solar scheme – Cleve Hill Solar Park, located on the north Kent coast one mile from Faversham and less than 60 miles from central London.
Cleve Hill Solar Park Limited (CHSPL), a joint venture between Wirsol Energy Ltd. and Hive Energy Ltd., has developed plans for Cleve Hill Solar Park, which will generate up to 350 MW of clean renewable electricity to power over 91,000 homes, making it the largest solar park in the UK. The project won’t require any Government subsidies and aims to be one of the lowest cost generators of electricity in the UK.
It will also provide over £1 million of revenue to Swale and Kent Councils each year for the lifetime of the project.
The decision comes at an important time with the UK becoming the first major economy to pass law to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Climate emergencies are being declared by local authorities across the country in response to the national and international outcry to see more action to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
The host authority for the project, Swale Borough Council, declared a climate emergency in June, shortly following the same announcement made by Kent County Council.
The Cleve Hill Solar Park is a pioneering scheme which will deliver significant benefits to the low carbon economy and environment. Through its efficient design of orientating panels east west, the solar park will be able to generate more clean power throughout the day, enough to power all of the homes in Swale and Canterbury combined. The solar park also has the potential to store power generated by the sun by way of onsite energy storage, providing power to homes and businesses when it’s needed the most.
Since 2017, the developers have consulted with several stakeholders including the authorities of Swale, Kent and Canterbury and their communities to design the solar park in response to consultation feedback, which has resulted in:
– a dedicated landscape and biodiversity management plan which will achieve a 65% increase in biodiversity net gain on site through plans including an open meadow area, likely to be one of the largest areas of meadow in south-east England;
– 56 ha of specially managed habitat being set aside for overwintering birds, which has been designed in consultation with RSPB, Natural England and Kent Wildlife Trust;
– measures to reduce visual impact to neighbouring properties including 4 km of native hedgerow planting to screen the site;
– agreement with the Environment Agency to align with its managed realignment programme to return the site to marshland in the future.
Hugh Brennan of Hive Energy says: “This is a solar park that responds to the need to deliver more clean, renewable energy technology in a way that is smart and sustainable.”
From the start the project team have consulted continuously with local stakeholders and we would like to express our gratitude for the collaborative efforts of the local authorities, stakeholders and the community who have provided their feedback to help shape the design of the solar park. Our work doesn’t stop here, and we will continue our dialogue with these stakeholders to ensure the safe and responsible delivery of the scheme.
Creating green jobs and scaling renewable energy schemes are some of the measures the Government are prioritising as part of the nation’s green recovery.
The £450 million Cleve Hill Solar Park will create direct and indirect permanent jobs. The developer has produced an ‘Outline Skills, Supply Chain and Employment Plan’ to help secure local economic benefits from the solar park. The project will offer jobs such as site management staff and contract opportunities and will enable a transfer of sector-based knowledge and skills and boost the local supply chain.
The developers will now continue to work with the local authorities, stakeholders and communities to carry out their obligations to consult on and discharge conditions in anticipation of the start of construction, due to commence in Spring 2021. The green energy scheme is planned to be operational by April 2022, delivering a fast response to our urgent climate and clean energy needs.
Gridserve has announced a partnership Japanese manufacturer Hitachi to ‘revolutionise’ the UK’s approach to solar energy and electric vehicles (EV) infrastructure.
The partnership will see Gridserve develop hybrid solar farms in the UK in conjunction with a new network of solar-powered EV forecourts.
Hitachi Capital UK’s loan facility to Gridserve will facilitate projects including hybrid solar farms in Gloucestershire and Lincolnshire, and the soon-to-open electric forecourt close to Braintree, Essex, with space for 24 vehicles to charge simultaneously in 20-30 minutes at a rate of up to 350 kW from its superchargers.
100 more electric forecourts will be delivered over the next five years.
Similar to motorway service stations, there will be facilities including a coffee shop and supermarket on the site, and there will be an EV ‘education centre’, which will offer insight and information about the technology.
Gridserve will generate zero-carbon solar energy to supply the electric forecourt network, in combination with large battery storage systems to deal with the intermittent nature of solar power and meet the growing demand for sustainable energy.
Robert Gordon, CEO of Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, said: ‘We’re delighted to form a pioneering partnership with an innovative and market leading sustainable energy business, which will revolutionise the UK’s motoring landscape and accelerate the transition to vehicle electrification.
‘The response to the current pandemic has highlighted the impact of carbon emissions on the environment. We now have a real opportunity, through flagship programmes like this, to create the infrastructure needed to fast-track electric vehicle adoption across the UK and meet the government’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050. Creating a greener, cleaner society.’
Toddington Harper, CEO of Gridserve Sustainable Energy said: ‘Our strategic partnership with Hitachi Capital marks a major milestone in Gridserve’s journey. As well as providing significant financial backing to accelerate our ability to deliver sustainable energy and meet net-zero carbon emission targets in the earliest possible timeframes, Hitachi Capital has an unrivalled wealth of experience, knowledge, resources, and expertise to support our collective success.’
Uniper and Siemens Gas and Power have signed a cooperation agreement to develop projects that will decarbonise power generation across the German energy producer’s portfolio.
A key aspect of the companies’ planned cooperation is production and use of green hydrogen, where the gas is made from electrolysis using renewable electricity.
The scope of the agreement also includes evaluating the potential of Uniper’s existing gas turbines and gas storage facilities for using hydrogen and will also investigate the role hydrogen can play in Uniper’s coal power plants.
Uniper recently announced that it would close or convert its coal-fired power plants in Europe by 2025 at the latest, which is critical to its goal of having carbon neutral European operations by 2035.
The power producer has set itself the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the European generation segment from 22 million tonnes today to net-zero emissions by 2035.
The company built the first power-to-gas plant in Falkenhagen, Germany, in 2013, followed by another one in Hamburg in 2015. Uniper added a methanisation plant to the Falkenhagen plant in 2018.
Uniper chief executive Andreas Schierenbeck said: “After the coal phase-out and the switch to a secure gas-based energy supply, the use of climate-friendly gas will be a major step towards successful energy system transformation; therefore, the decarbonisation of the gas industry, including gas-fired power generation, is essential if Germany and Europe are to achieve their climate targets.
“We are ready to invest and have set the strategic course to significantly accelerate the decarbonisation of our portfolio. In doing so, it is important to bundle energies, act openly in terms of technology, and work with proven high-technology partners like Siemens.”
Siemens Gas and Power builds power-to-x infrastructure and equipment.
The company supplies technologies for enabling carbon dioxide-free energy supply, including power and heat generation by renewable energy or gas-fired power plants, power transmission and distribution equipment, and electrolysis equipment for hydrogen production.