Clean growth in the UK

The UK has developed a world-leading offer for investors across the clean growth economy. We have accelerated the opportunities for investment across renewable energy, zero-emission vehicle technologies, sustainable consumption, infrastructure, and green finance.

Over the last 30 years, the UK has shown that economic success and environmental responsibility go hand in hand. Our low-carbon industries already support over 460,000 jobs from electric vehicle manufacturing in the Midlands and the North East to our thriving offshore wind industry centred on the Humber and the Tees.

In 2019, the UK government became the first major economy to adopt a legally binding obligation to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The government is delivering on the ‘Ten point plan for a green industrial revolution’ that followed that commitment. It has generated 68,000 green jobs and £22 billion in private investment, laying the foundations for a green industrial revolution.

The government is now raising that ambition through the publication of a new ‘Energy security strategy’ with new, bold commitments to supercharge clean energy and accelerate deployment. The aim is for 95% of Great Britain’s electricity to be low carbon by 2030.

The ambitious policies and new significant public investment span energy, buildings, transport, innovation and the natural environment. They will enable the UK to take advantage of export opportunities presented by low-carbon technologies and services into new, global emerging markets.

Approach

Our early action on clean growth means that we have nurtured a broad range of low-carbon industries. We are now world leaders in some sectors.

This success is built upon wider strengths – our scientific research base, and expertise in high-value service and financial industries. Plus a regulatory framework that provides long-term direction and support for innovation and excellence in the design and manufacturing of leading-edge technology.

We will generate new clean power with offshore wind farms, nuclear plants and by investing up to half a billion pounds in new hydrogen technologies. We will use this energy to run our cars, buses, trucks and trains, ships and planes, and heating our homes. We will pioneer a new British industry dedicated to carbon capture, usage and storage.

Policies and business support

The UK is committed to remaining a leading destination for private investment. In the ‘Ten point plan for a green industrial revolution’, together with the ‘Net Zero Strategy’ and our Energy Strategy, we set out our plan to drive an unprecedented £100 billion of private sector investment by 2030. This will be investment into new British industries such as offshore wind and will support around 480,000 clean jobs by the end of the decade.

The Energy White Paper took further steps to support the ten point plan. These included consultations and explorations of policy options to support a fairer and more flexible energy system.

The new ‘Energy security strategy’, published in April 2022, further sets out how Great Britain will accelerate the deployment of wind, new nuclear, solar and hydrogen power, while supporting the production of domestic oil and gas in the nearer term. This could see 95% of electricity by 2030 being low carbon.

Key policies announced in the strategy include:

Nuclear

The strategy will see a significant acceleration of nuclear, with an ambition of up to 24 gigawatts (GW) to come from this safe, clean, and reliable source of power by 2050. This would represent up to around 25% of our projected electricity demand. A new government body, Great British Nuclear, will be set up immediately to bring forward new projects, together with the launch of the £120 million Future Nuclear Enabling Fund.

Offshore wind

The government aims to produce 50GW of energy from offshore wind by 2030 – more than enough to power every home in the UK. 5GW of this will come from floating offshore wind in deeper seas. This will be supported by planning reforms which will reduce the time it takes for new projects to reach the construction stage, while protecting the environment.

Oil and gas

A licensing round for new North Sea oil and gas projects will be launched with a new taskforce providing bespoke support to new developments – recognising the importance of these fuels to the transition and to our energy security, and that producing gas in the UK has a lower carbon footprint than imported from abroad.  

Onshore wind

The government will consult on developing partnerships with a limited number of supportive communities who wish to host new onshore wind infrastructure in return for guaranteed lower energy bills. 

Heat pump manufacturing

A Heat Pump Investment Accelerator competition will be run in 2022 worth up to £30 million to make British heat pumps, which will reduce demand for gas.  

Solar

The UK currently has 14GW of solar capacity. We aim to grow this by up to 5 times by 2035. When doing this, we will consult on the rules, particularly on domestic and commercial rooftops.

Hydrogen

We aim to double our ambition to produce up to 10GW of low-carbon hydrogen power by 2030, with at least half coming from green hydrogen. We will use excess offshore wind power to bring down costs. The government will publish delivery roadmaps to support industry to invest in carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen.

Other strategies that will support the UK’s drive towards net zero include:

  • the Industrial decarbonisation strategy - this sets a goal to cut industry emissions by around two-thirds from 2018 to 2035
  • the Heat and buildings strategy - set out further detail on the government’s plans for decarbonising heating in the UK
  • the Transport decarbonisation plan - plan to decarbonise the UK’s entire transport system covering the transition to zero-emission road vehicles; freight and logistics; and aviation and shipping
  • the Net zero aviation strategy - the government has committed to a new consultation on aviation decarbonisation in 2021, followed by a Net zero aviation strategy
  • the Biomass strategy - will coordinate across government departments to assess how biomass should be sourced and used across the economy to contribute best to net zero