Bryt Insight May 2021

As the UK begins to move towards greater normality, businesses and trade associations are striving to recover from the coronavirus crisis - and we’ve seen this month that many are keen to make a green recovery. We’re eager to see how the Government will respond to calls for greater support for businesses - will they publish the long-awaited Environment Bill soon, and will they provide the policies required to deliver their new carbon capture plans?  

 

Here’s what we know so far... 

 

1. UK Government outlines carbon capture plans 

2. Queen’s speech highlights green policy

3. Britain’s biggest businesses set out green recommendations for G7

4. RenewableUK calls for clear renewables roadmap

 

1. UK Government outlines carbon capture plans

The government has published a new policy paper which sets out its plans for the UK’s carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) supply chains. The paper outlines a new target for the UK to capture and store 10 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030.   

 

This is an important target, as although many organisations and individuals are working to reduce their emissions as much as possible, the majority will be unable to stop creating emissions entirely. To get to net zero, the UK will need to have the capability to remove enough emissions from the atmosphere to counteract any residual emissions. The Committee on Climate Change has therefore stated that CCUS is a ‘non-optional’ element of the UK’s transition to net zero.  

 

Encouragingly, the policy paper states that the UK has one of the greatest CO2 storage potentials of any country in the world. In fact, it’s estimated that the UK Continental Shelf (the region of water surrounding the UK) could safely store 78 billion tonnes of CO2, which is the equivalent of 200 years of the UK’s annual CO2 emissions. By developing our capabilities to capture and store carbon, the Government estimates that we could support around 50,000 jobs by 2050. 

 

It’s good to see that the Government has put a target in place for CCUS, and we look forward to the release of a full roadmap for the CCUS sector later this year, so we can understand how the skills, infrastructure and technologies will be supported. This will be published alongside a ‘Fit for CCUS’ scheme for businesses, which will help high emitters to prepare to adopt CCUS technology. While we wait for more details, you can read the policy paper, here.    

 

 

2. Queen’s speech highlights green policy

The Queen opened a new session of Parliament with her customary speech, which reiterated the UK’s commitment to delivering a green economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.  

 

In her speech, the Queen referenced the Government’s Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution over the next ten years. She stated that the Government will, ‘invest in new green industries to create jobs, while protecting the environment. The United Kingdom is committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and will continue to lead the way internationally by hosting the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.’ 

 

The Queen also alluded to the upcoming Net Zero Strategy and the Environment Bill, which returned to Parliament at the end of May. If passed, the Environment Bill will set binding environmental targets around air quality, biodiversity, water, resource efficiency and waste reduction. The industry will be looking to see this bill passed before the UK hosts COP26 – the Glasgow climate summit - in November. To read the Queen’s Speech in full, click here. 

 

 

3. Britain’s biggest businesses set out green recommendations for G7

Britain’s largest business group, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), has urged leaders of G7 - an organisation made up of the world’s most ‘advanced economies’ - to lead international action to address climate change and biodiversity loss at the G7 summit in June. 

 

The CBI has worked together with leading business groups from the G7 nations to put together a wealth of recommendations for G7 countries to drive a ‘sustainable and inclusive recovery’ from Covid-19. The recommendations were drafted and backed by their members (including some of the UK’s leading businesses, like M&S and PWC). Among these recommendations, they called for G7 leaders to set a target to phase out unabated coal (coal without any carbon capture) power generation by 2040 where feasible. They also highlighted the need for this target to be supported by policies and incentives to support industries and communities affected by the shift away from fossil fuel. Boris Johnson said that he was grateful for the CBI’s recommendations, and he backed their call for co-operation among G7 countries to address these issues. 

 

The UK will host the G7 Summit in Cornwall this month. As the host of this summit and COP26 – the Glasgow climate summit - in November, the UK has the chance to influence the global transition to a low carbon future this year. To read the CBI’s letter in full, click here.  

 

 

4. RenewableUK calls for clear renewables roadmap

RenewableUK, one of the UK’s leading renewable energy trade associations, has published a new report outlining the need for specific renewable energy milestones if the UK is going to meet the Prime Minister’s new target to slash emissions by 78% by 2030. These milestones will also be crucial to ensure we can meet our 2050 net zero target. 

 

The association has called for clear development targets for onshore wind, floating wind, renewable hydrogen and marine energy. Wind energy is a particular focus within the report, as it is currently the cheapest form of renewable energy in the UK. RenewableUK has proposed a target of 30GW of onshore wind by the end of the decade, and called for the existing target of 1GW of floating wind by 2030 to be doubled. They claim that reaching these targets could reduce energy bills as well as support 31,000 UK jobs by 2035, and help to establish the UK as a global leader in floating wind technology. 

 

At Bryt Energy, we’re passionate about renewable energy, and so we’re delighted to see the growth of renewable energy in the UK and worldwide. If you’re interested in reading the full report from RenewableUK, you can find it here. 

 

Talk to our team  

If you have any questions about the changes discussed above or how they might affect your business, our team of experts is on hand to answer them. Simply call us on 0121 726 7575 or email us at solutions@brytenergy.co.uk.

 

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