In the last week, the UK government has revealed two major schemes to boost the nation’s renewable energy sector and our overall green credentials.
The first announcement detailed further backing for offshore wind projects around the country, with over £250m being put forward to produce more wind farms and further develop the technology behind them. The second explained a new initiative that will see some of the UK’s biggest industrial polluters get a share of a £220m pot to help them cut their use of fossil fuels.
This encouraging news comes despite the challenging circumstances that the energy industry and consumers alike are currently experiencing with rising bills and costs. However, the government has stated that this green investment will ultimately work to help reduce the UK's reliance on fossil fuels and curb our exposure to ‘volatile’ global wholesale prices.
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The potential benefits of the new green schemes
Both of these schemes also have the potential to bring further benefits to households and businesses across the country. The additional offshore wind capacity resulting from the investment in the new farms could eventually ‘power around 8 million homes’.
On top of this, the government claims that helping UK industries go greener by funding the installation of new, more efficient boilers and heating systems, as well as helping them develop ‘technologies for industrial carbon capture, fuel switching and recycling waste heat into renewable electricity’, will work towards significantly cutting their collective emissions.
Currently, UK industry produces 16% of the country’s total emissions, but this will need to be lowered by two-thirds by 2035 to meet climate change contribution targets.
The knock-on effects of the schemes will mean ‘businesses will not only reduce their environmental impact, but also save on their energy bills, and support thousands of British jobs’, according to the government’s announcement. Moreover, it will form a key part of the wider plans to ‘build a secure, home-grown and clean energy sector’ that sees us reduce our ‘reliance on fossil fuels’ and potentially means that our energy bills won’t be as drastically impacted by global price changes.
Speaking on the plans, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
"With innovation and investment across the economy, we can power the UK’s green industrial revolution. But we know for the most polluting and energy-intensive businesses, this will mean a big shift in the way they operate.
"That’s why we’re putting £220 million more into helping them cut their carbon emissions, bring down their energy bills, and support good jobs – creating a sustainable future as we build back greener around the country."
The Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng also commented:
"Through this new fund, we’re stepping up efforts to clean-up industry as we transition to a low-carbon economy.
"Not only will this major investment support energy-intensive industries to cut pollution, it will help companies save money on energy bills and support jobs as we fight to ensure British industry remains globally competitive."
When might consumers start to notice the benefits?
With energy bills going up for many UK households right now, the sooner such benefits are felt by consumers and businesses alike, the better. However, the reality is that it will probably take a number of years for all these upgrades and new sources of renewables to be produced and rolled out. That said, it is still a positive step in the right direction and shows that the government strongly believes in the sustainable potential of Britain's green energy.
However, if you are looking to make a difference to your energy bills in terms of how green and affordable they are right now, it’s still worth running an online energy comparison to find the best energy deals near you that include renewables, and then switch.
Despite the current difficulties many are facing with rising wholesale prices, you can still find a number of green tariffs out there. Plus, a comparison service can tell you more about who the best energy suppliers are at this moment – helping you make an informed decision before you switch.