Electricity and Heating: Carbon Emissions

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 27th March 2020.

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Photo of Rebecca Long-Bailey Rebecca Long-Bailey Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps he has taken to decarbonise the (a) electricity and (b) heating sectors.

Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

In 2019, the Government set a legally binding-target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from across the UK economy by 2050. The Government has introduced many initiatives to decarbonise and increase the supply of renewable energy production in the UK and have already made great strides forward. Over 50% of our power now comes from low carbon sources and coal is all but being eliminated from the mix.

Earlier this month, the Government announced that onshore wind, solar and other established technologies, will be eligible for the next Contracts for Difference (CfD) allocation round in 2021. In March 2019, the Government published the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, which will build on the United Kingdom’s global leadership in offshore wind by working with the Sector to increase productivity and develop new offshore wind technologies. The Sector Deal also commits to increasing diversity in the sector, with the ambition of increasing the percentage of women and people from BAME backgrounds employed in offshore wind.

The Government also announced an investment of £800 million to deploy the first carbon capture storage (CCS) cluster by the mid-2020s. We are supporting wider industrial decarbonisation by investing £500 million to support energy-intensive industries adopt low-carbon technologies, for which CCS will play a key part.

We also have an ambitious programme of work already underway to support heat decarbonisation. In the Budget we announced our intention to extend the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for 12 months, ahead of the launch of a new Clean Heat Grant scheme. We also announced a third allocation of Tariff Guarantees for the Non-Domestic RHI to continue support for large-scale plants which require investment certainty to proceed. This will help ensure continuous support before launch of the new Green Gas support scheme

We are investing up to £320m, through grants and loans, to accelerate the growth of the UK heat networks market through the Heat Networks Investment Project and have launched the £16.5 million Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project, to demonstrate the feasibility of a large-scale transition to electrification of heat in Great Britain. We have announced spending of up to £121 million on hydrogen innovation and working with stakeholders to develop a comprehensive programme of work to demonstrate the technical and practical feasibility of using hydrogen in place of natural gas for heating.

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