BEAMA recommends next steps in support of Government's new 10 Point Plan on green economy

18 Nov 2020

BEAMA applauds the objectives for the green economy announced today, and the very significant new targets for green transport and heating. As leaders in the electrical industry, we look forward to continuing to work with Government on these policies, moving towards achieving our net-zero targets, and at the same time growing our industries in the UK.

BEAMA CEO Dr Howard Porter said: “I welcome this Ten Point Plan as the most ambitious plan yet to transform the UK energy industry. BEAMA and its 200 members are already helping Government develop the necessary solutions behind these targets.’’

“The Plan is a great opportunity to align policy, short term funding cycles and development of standards to ensure compliant and safe products in the market. We welcome the extension of the Green Homes Grant for another year – let’s use this time to demonstrate how to decarbonise all buildings. The plans for electric vehicles, and by extension EV chargers, are equally important, and the energy systems needed to deliver on these ambitious targets should receive similar focus.’’

“Government and other stakeholders can now work with the CCC and other expert groups on the level of funding and pace of change needed. BEAMA members have already signed up to a net-zero pledge and will continue to support both policy development and rollout of key technologies in the field.’’

“The employment opportunities offered by these plans are potentially significant for both raw numbers of new people working on green initiatives and the upskilling needed to work in these new digital technologies. This is an opportunity for the Government to establish support for the high-level skills needed in our industry and focus its industrial strategy on the electrical green future.”

BEAMA President Patrick Caiger-Smith and Chairman of GEO said: “I applaud the government for setting out these initiatives which can make a big contribution to the net zero target if implemented well. Electrifying transport and domestic heating are essential, but Government must make sure when designing grant and support schemes that they do not become lotteries or have cliff edge deadlines. Standards of installation must also be maintained – too many national programmes around the world for improving energy use have been blighted by poor quality control or lack of trained resource. It’s also essential that we look at heating and chargers in the home holistically, particularly that controls are integrated. We must not encourage technologies that will make the task of balancing the grid more difficult or have unintended consequences.”

BEAMA President Elect, Mike Hughes, President of Schneider Electric UK, added: “The electrical industry is vital for supplying safe and green energy from the point of generation and distribution through to factories, offices and homes all in a smart and connected manner. I look forward to working with the whole of the electrical supply industry to deliver our zero-carbon electric future and delivering significant job creation.”

Below we have quoted the ten points and included BEAMA comments on each item:

1. Offshore wind: Produce enough offshore wind to power every home in the UK, quadrupling how much it produces to 40 gigawatts by 2030, and supporting up to 60,000 jobs.

BEAMA Comment: Government should consider both the expected electrification of heat and transport for homes in its projections for how much renewable power will be needed. The Energy White Paper should also set out how our electricity networks will be upgraded.

2. Hydrogen: Have five gigawatts of "low carbon" hydrogen production capacity by 2030 - for industry, transport, power and homes - and develop the first town heated by the gas by the end of the decade.

BEAMA Comment: Government should ensure that there are better standards for heating systems as there are substantial energy savings available through better controls and system commissioning that could dramatically reduce the amount of hydrogen that will need to be produced, as well as providing immediate energy efficiency benefits. The introduction of hydrogen infrastructure needs to be accompanied by plans for the introduction of hydrogen ready boilers to ensure consumers don’t need to replace their boilers when hydrogen becomes available. All Hydrogen generation must be clean to ensure we do not end up with expensive but short-lived transition technologies.

3. Nuclear: Pushing nuclear power as a clean energy source and including provision for a large nuclear plant, as well as for advanced small nuclear reactors, which could support 10,000 jobs.

BEAMA Comment: Any changes to generation must be accompanied by improvements to electricity networks and to making our grid and homes more responsive to demand. HMT should set out in its forthcoming net-zero review how the costs of new infrastructure will be distributed fairly.

4. Electric vehicles: Phasing out sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles and investing in grants to help buy cars and charge point infrastructure.

BEAMA Comment: BEAMA welcomes the Government’s announcement to bring forward the end date for new petrol or diesel powered vehicles to 2030. We are proud to support our members in the design, development and roll out of the network and charging infrastructure that are essential to the electrification and decarbonization of road transport. Government should also address the investment and innovation necessary in power networks to support the charging infrastructure.

BEAMA is leading the EV Energy Taskforce Working Group on smart charging and cyber security, supporting industry to make the electrification of road transport a reality.

5. Public transport, cycling and walking: Making cycling and walking more attractive ways to travel and investing in zero-emission public transport for the future.

BEAMA Comment: The proportion of electrified rail network must be increased above the current 38% to meet net-zero goals.

6. Jet zero and greener maritime: Supporting research projects for zero-emission planes and ships.

BEAMA Comment: This must be supported by electrification of ports and airports, remembering these key enabling steps and infrastructure as part of any net-zero plan.

7. Homes and public buildings: Making homes, schools and hospitals greener, warmer and more energy efficient, including a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.

BEAMA Comment: A large majority of the 600,000 will need to come from retrofitting existing homes, so we must begin now to prepare buildings, prepare the supply chain and prepare consumers. Enabling improvements to homes such as controls, ventilation and electrical infrastructure must support the change of heat source, as set out in BEAMA’s new Future Ready Homes paper. Many more skilled installers and advisers are needed. Key trigger points for consumers to change their home heating must be identified and communicated to householders with advice as soon as possible, allowing them to plan for the future. Government should announce further details in its Heat & Buildings Strategy, acknowledging that the slow rate of change delivered by Building Regulations may make new build a relatively small part of the answer. The extension of the Green Homes Grant also gives an opportunity to boost the trained installer base in the short term that must now be seized.

8. Carbon capture: Developing world-leading technology to capture and store harmful emissions away from the atmosphere, with a target to remove 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030 - equivalent to all emissions of the industrial Humber.

BEAMA Comment: Government should learn from its stop-start policy on CCUS over the past decade, and ensure that new targets and pledges on all net-zero topics are followed through and consistent.

9. Nature: Protecting and restoring the natural environment, with plans to include planting 30,000 hectares of trees a year.

BEAMA Comment: We support adopting a wide range of measures to tackle climate change, as the outlook in some areas remains uncertain. Government must remember that if policy fails in several other areas, there is a limit to how far planting trees can offset continuing emissions.

10. Innovation and finance: Developing cutting-edge technologies and making the City of London the global centre of green finance.

BEAMA Comment: BEAMA has been encouraged by the recent increased attention on green finance. This includes the collaboration within the Green Finance Institute, where BEAMA is contributing to creating recommendations and trials of new finance offerings.