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Carbon Emissions

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 46029, tabled on 12 May 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what low carbon energy projects the Government is assessing to meet its net zero 2050 target.

Answered on

21 May 2020

Since 2010, over £94bn has been invested in clean energy in the UK and the Government has spent a total of £30.7bn on renewable electricity through the Renewable Obligations, Feed-in-Tariffs and Contracts for Difference (CfD) schemes. We recently set out ambitious plans at the Budget including investing £270m new funding for heat networks and £100m for heat pumps and biomass.

The Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme is the government’s main mechanism for supporting new large-scale renewable electricity generation projects in Great Britain. We are continuing to improve the route to market for renewables by making up to £557 million available for CfD schemes. In the latest CfD allocation round, contracts were awarded to 12 renewable projects with the potential for nearly 6GW of new renewable capacity – enough to power over 7 million homes.

Our sustained support for clean energy has led to dramatic falls in the costs of some renewable technologies. The auction prices of offshore wind reduced by around two-thirds between the 2015 and 2019. The new projects and lower prices are another step towards decarbonising our energy system as we work toward net zero emissions by 2050, creating jobs and economic opportunities across the UK.

In addition, we are investing over £3 billion in low-carbon innovation through to 2021 – going beyond the £2.5 billion we committed to in the Clean Growth Strategy – and this investment will help to grow our low carbon economy. We are focusing our innovation spend where this can bring down the systems costs of delivering our climate targets and where the UK has expertise, building on our strengths in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, automotive, aerospace and nuclear.

We will be focusing on continuing to develop our net zero strategy in advance of COP26 – including through strengthening our plans for decarbonisation in key sectors. We published the first phase of our transport decarbonisation plan on 26 March 2020, and will be setting out further plans including our forthcoming Energy White Paper later this year.