Boris Johnson announces plans for 'Green Industrial Revolution'

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson last week announced plans for a new, 10-point green plan which will create 250,000 jobs and spearhead the country’s work towards bringing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

The programme is estimated to cost £12bn with an emphasis on the expansion of both hydrogen and nuclear power in the UK. The plan will create an extra 250,000 jobs, most of which will be centred around the north of England, the Midlands, Scotland and Wales.

Despite its ambitious scope, the plan has come under criticism from environmental groups and political opposition. The Shadow Business Secretary, Ed Miliband said, “People are losing their jobs now, this isn’t fundamentally a green stimulus, it’s nowhere near the scale of what is required.”

As well as nuclear and hydrogen power, the plan will focus on wind, public transport, cycling and walking, homes and public buildings and innovation and finance.

Up until September, there was no initiative or assistance from government to help homeowners improve the energy efficiency of their homes, with the UK’s housing stock being some of the most inefficient in the world in terms of energy efficiency. Now the Green Homes Grant Scheme has been introduced and the Prime Minister’s new ‘green revolution’ there will be much more emphasis on improving homes in the UK.

Coupled with the emergence of the new PAS 2035 Standard for whole house retrofit, Energy Assessors, Green Deal Advisors and now Retrofit Assessors and Coordinators will see an upturn in demand as both schemes begin to build momentum.

However, for more Installers and Assessors to sign up to practice with the Green Homes Grant, the scheme must be extended beyond its current end date of March 2021. Indeed, the Property Energy Professionals Association and Stroma Director of Energy Certification, Andrew Parkin, called for the extension of the Green Homes Grant scheme in late October.

The ‘Green Industrial Revolution' comprises the following 10 points:

  1. Offshore wind: Producing enough offshore wind to power every home, quadrupling how much we produce to 40GW by 2030, supporting up to 60,000 jobs.
  2. Hydrogen: Working with industry aiming to generate 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power and homes, and aiming to develop the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade.
  3. Nuclear: Advancing nuclear as a clean energy source, across large scale nuclear and developing the next generation of small and advanced reactors, which could support 10,000 jobs.
  4. Electric vehicles: Backing our world-leading car manufacturing bases including in the West Midlands, North East and North Wales to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, and transforming our national infrastructure to better support electric vehicles.
  5. Public transport, cycling and walking: Making cycling and walking more attractive ways to travel and investing in zero-emission public transport of the future.
  6. Jet Zero and greener maritime: Supporting difficult-to-decarbonise industries to become greener through research projects for zero-emission planes and ships.
  7. Homes and public buildings: Making our homes, schools and hospitals greener, warmer and more energy efficient, whilst creating 50,000 jobs by 2030, and a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.
  8. Carbon capture: Becoming a world-leader in technology to capture and store harmful emissions away from the atmosphere, with a target to remove 10MT of carbon dioxide by 2030, equivalent to all emissions of the industrial Humber today.
  9. Nature: Protecting and restoring our natural environment, planting 30,000 hectares of trees every year, whilst creating and retaining thousands of jobs.
  10. Innovation and finance: Developing the cutting-edge technologies needed to reach these new energy ambitions and make the City of London the global centre of green finance.

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said, “Although this year has taken a very different path to the one we expected, I haven’t lost sight of our ambitious plans to level up across the country. My Ten Point Plan will create, support and protect hundreds of thousands of green jobs, whilst making strides towards net zero by 2050.”

The scheme will undoubtedly signal an uplift in excitement and publicity surrounding the UK’s energy industry and will usher in further emphasis for energy assessment, the new EPC register and PAS 2025.

Stroma Certification’s Director of Energy Certification, Andrew Parkin said, “Stroma Certification welcomes the intensions behind the 10 point plan, and indeed, anything that raises the profile of the environment, focussing on reducing carbon emissions whilst helping to support the industry and grow the economy is welcome news. However, this needs to be more than an outline plan, it needs to have bite and detail. We need solid investment to grow an industry that will support the hundreds of thousands of jobs quoted, as well as bringing confidence for employers and business owners to invest to create these jobs.

Unfortunately, we have seen the beginnings of these plans being watered down already, so the government needs to be steadfast in their resolve to making these commitments a reality and focus on the bigger picture at play. Carbon neutral homes by 2030, existing buildings meeting EPC C within the same time period, replacing fossil fuels as an energy source for heating, hot water and electricity are all key to making this plan a reality. Cross party support is also needed so a collaborative government is required. All eyes turn towards the upcoming spending review to see what detail is contained within.”

To learn more about Stroma Certification’s CPD, Training and DEA and Retrofit certification schemes please follow the links.

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