Powering our Net Zero Future: Government launches Energy White Paper

The government has launched its Energy white paper setting out how the UK will clean up its energy system and reach net zero emissions by 2050.The white paper  sets out the steps needed to cut emissions from industry, transport and buildings by 230 million metric tonnes.


  • The Energy White Paper commits to supporting up to 220,000 jobs in the new, greener economy over the next decade, with positions ranging from employment in major power generation, carbon capture storage and hydrogen projects, in addition to a nationwide programme to retrofit homes and buildings with energy efficiency and clean heat technologies.
  • The plan promises to overhaul the entire energy system and aims to retrofit millions of homes, electrify transport with renewables, double electricity use instead of oil and gas and bolster renewable energy supply.
  • The government has promised to make the energy retail market “truly competitive” by offering customers more simple methods of switching to cheaper energy tariffs, and tackling “loyalty penalties” by automatically switching consumers to fairer, cheaper deals – this system will be trialled to test its effectiveness in the market.
  • The Energy White Paper commits to all electricity being emission-free by 2050 and sets the country on target for an “overwhelmingly decarbonised” energy system by 2030 to ensure it remains on the right trajectory for the final goal. It states low carbon power is a “key enabler” of the more sustainable economy of the future and notes demand for clean electricity is forecast to double in order to decarbonise the transport and heating sectors.
  • The government promises to set up a UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) from 1 January 2021 to replace the current EU model. This will aim to drive progress on cutting emissions and will ensure the vital continuation of emissions trading for UK businesses and give them certainty about the path forward.
  • The Energy White Paper reaffirms the Prime Minister’s commitment to deliver enough wind capacity to power every home in the country by 2030 – this would consist of 40GW of offshore wind, including 1GW of floating wind.
  • The government plans to work with industry to deploy 5GW of hydrogen production by 2030, supported by a new £240 million net zero Hydrogen Fund.
  • The Energy White Paper sets out a plan to invest £1.3 billion to accelerate the deployment of EV charging points across homes, streets and motorways, as well as another £1 billion to support the development of EVs themselves, such as funding for battery production.
  • The plan sets out how the government will help the vulnerable and fuel poor across society better cope with paying energy bills. It will support the lowest paid with a £6.7 billion package of measures it claims could save families in the oldest, most inefficient homes up to £400.These measures include extending the Warm Home Discount Scheme to 2026 and discounting eligible households £150 on their electricity bills each winter.
  • Fossil fuel boilers will be gradually removed and replaced with cleaner alternatives – by the mid-2030s the government hopes that all newly installed heating systems will be low carbon models or be appliances that can be converted to a clean fuel supply.
  • The government promises to safeguard the people and communities most affected by falling oil and gas production and pledges to ensure the expertise of the sector will be used to fill new green jobs in areas such as CCS and hydrogen production.

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