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What are the new government’s plans?

“Change begins now,” new Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer has said following Labour’s landslide election victory. But what changes does the new government plan in this sector?

The government has put a target on clean energy by 2030 as its second mission and says it will make Britain energy independent as well as tackling the cost-of-living crisis.

It has also pledged to end the former government’s chopping and changing on energy policies and says its Green Prosperity Plan will be a partnership between the public and private sectors, aiming to create 650,000 jobs by 2030, boosting energy security and investing in insulating homes.

On low-carbon energy, it says: “Labour will work with the private sector to double onshore wind, triple solar power, and quadruple offshore wind by 2030. We will invest in carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and marine energy, and ensure we have the long-term energy storage our country needs. A new Energy Independence Act will establish the framework for Labour’s energy and climate policies.”

At the heart of its energy policies is the creation of Great British Energy, a new publicly owned company with its HQ in Scotland. It says: “Great British Energy will partner with industry and trade unions to deliver clean power by co-investing in leading technologies; will help support capital-intensive projects; and will deploy local energy production to benefit communities across the country.”

On energy bills, it wants to toughen up regulation and reduce standing charges, as well as upgrading the national transmission infrastructure. And for the UK’s homes, it says it will invest an extra £6.6 billion pounds over the next parliament to upgrade 5 million homes. Its Warm Homes Plan “will offer grants and low-interest loans to support investment in insulation and other improvements such as solar panels, batteries and low-carbon heating to cut bills. We will partner with combined authorities, local and devolved governments to roll out this plan.

“Labour will also work with the private sector, including banks and building societies, to provide further private finance to accelerate home upgrades and low-carbon heating.”

Its policies on net zero are fairly non-specific so far, other than stating that it commits to “reach net zero and meet our carbon budgets”. However, its proposed carbon border adjustment mechanism could sound a warning bell for non-UK manufacturers, as it proposes to “prevent countries from dumping lower-quality goods into British markets, and support the UK to meet our climate objectives”.

While it won’t issue any new licences for oil and gas in the North Sea, it says it won’t revoke existing licences and will manage existing fields for their lifespan. The new government says it will close the loopholes in the windfall tax on oil and gas companies and increase the rate of the levy by 3 per cent.

It says it will maintain a reserve of gas power stations but also complete Hinkley Point C’s nuclear plant, as well as new nuclear stations such as Sizewell C and small modular reactors.

You can read the manifesto in full here.

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