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Industry urged to cut energy use in government's clean growth plan

Amit Katwala

(Credit: iStock)
(Credit: iStock)

The UK government’s clean growth strategy will encourage industrial operators to cut their energy use.

Under proposals announced today by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, companies will be asked to improve their energy productivity by at least 20% by 2030.

Options being explored include voluntary building standards, simpler requirements for measuring and reporting on energy use, and an Industrial Energy Efficiency scheme to help large companies install energy-saving measures.

The government is also proposing to publish joint industrial decarbonisation and energy-efficiency action plans with seven of the most energy-intensive industrial sectors, and is investing up to £100m in carbon capture and storage technologies. Industry accounts for 25% of the UK’s energy usage.

In a preface to the report, Prime Minister Theresa May said clean growth could not be achieved by the government alone. “We must harness the ingenuity and determination of all our people and businesses across the country if we are to build a better, greener Britain,” she wrote.

Business secretary Greg Clark said the low-carbon economy could grow 11% a year between 2015 and 2030 – four times faster than the projected growth for the economy as a whole. Improving the route to market for new energy technologies is one thrust of the report, with £900m of public funds earmarked for smart systems and innovation in offshore wind and nuclear.

Claire Perry, the minister for climate change and industry, said the strategy could cut emissions while keeping down costs for consumers. “Clean growth can make a real difference to people’s lives, from reducing energy bills and improving air quality to supporting new technologies and boosting earning power in high-quality jobs,” she said.

The proposals received a positive response from the manufacturers’ organisation the EEF. Roz Bulleid, head of climate and environment policy, said manufacturers would be pleased to see a broad-ranging and well-structured report. “There is also much-appreciated recognition of the need for more government support for industry in key areas, including energy efficiency, heat reuse and carbon capture and storage,” she said. “Industry stands ready to now work with government to ensure we move from strategy to delivery at the earliest opportunity.”

However, Bulleid said the EEF was disappointed that there was little mention of “the impact climate policy has had on electricity prices,” and that it hoped to see a roadmap to lowering costs for businesses.

Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


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