Boris’ eagerly awaited 10-point plan is here! It’s the result of a great deal of wrangling between the Prime Minister and HM Treasury, unsurprisingly when we don’t yet know the final Covid bill! But it is a reassuring read. Boris has a focus and he needs to deliver a green recovery plan, not least since he is chairing the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in precisely 12 months’ time which will put the UK in the international spotlight.
Whilst £12bn of funding will always be welcome, only £4bn is new funding and Boris is hoping that he can attract a further £36bn of private investment funds. Is this feasible? We will need a crystal ball for that one but what is for sure, is that the UK has a hugely successful track record in attracting investment into the offshore wind sector and for encouraging competition which has put the UK as the global leader in offshore wind; no other country generates as much offshore wind as the UK. So why wouldn’t the UK become world leaders in hydrogen, EV’s, Carbon Capture as well? Boris needs to create bold plans if he is going to get his Green Recovery and if he is going to shine at COP26.
But funding will be the ongoing constraint in all of this. There has been a lack of clarity on the Government’s future direction; this 10-Point Plan was delayed. The Energy White Paper was delayed and still is (anticipated now in Q1 2021) and a reform of the Energy National Policy Statements (NPS) is awaited. Uncertainty does not encourage investment. That said, (putting on my optimistic hat) by the middle of next year, the Covid Vaccination programme will be well underway, we will have an Energy White Paper and the updated NPS’s will be in place. There will be no stopping the UK then!