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Boris Johnson’s “ambitious” ten point plan for a green industrial revolution


19th Nov 2020

Yesterday, the Prime Minister set out the government’s “ambitious” ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, with those ten points being “built around the UK’s strengths”:

  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.

The Future Transport group at Reddie & Grose is particularly interested in point 4, “Electric Vehicles”.  Some detail was provided here, “Following extensive consultation with car manufacturers and sellers, the Prime Minister has confirmed that the UK will end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, ten years earlier than planned. However we will allow the sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe until 2035.”  We discussed this in a round-table event held in the summer where we reported that banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans is not a simple solution to the problem.  The devil will of course be in the detail, in particular it will be interesting to discover what is meant by “significant distance” in relation to hybrid vehicles.

We were pleased to see that the Prime Minister announced additional funding to support this initiative with:

  • “£1.3 billion to accelerate the rollout of chargepoints for electric vehicles in homes, streets and on motorways across England, so people can more easily and conveniently charge their cars.
  • “£582 million in grants for those buying zero or ultra-low emission vehicles to make them cheaper to buy and incentivise more people to make the transition.
  • “Nearly £500 million to be spent in the next four years for the development and mass-scale production of electric vehicle batteries, as part of our commitment to provide up to £1 billion, boosting international investment into our strong manufacturing bases including in the Midlands and North East.”

Private sector investment will also be encouraged, and needed, and we hope that the UK will be seen as a place to invest in future technologies.

To enable the transition, along with the investment and development of infrastructure in the form of new charging points, and indeed new electricity generation, it is clear that technology will need to continue developing rapidly to enable price reductions in key areas, such as battery packs, to allow the general population to afford electric vehicles, even with the grants.  Without this price reduction, could the unintended consequence be a relative increase in older petrol and diesel vehicles on the road from 2030?

We are fascinated to see how this green industrial revolution will play out in the coming years, and look forward to working with the companies developing the enabling technology.

Reddie & Grose works closely with an automotive investment network, assisting start-ups and SMEs in this sector – please do get in touch if you would like further information.

This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking any action in reliance on it.

Author
Paul Loustalan
Partner
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Would you like to know more? You can talk to Paul Loustalan who will be able to help. Call +44 (0)20 7242 0901

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