Vattenfall Heat UK's response to the Prime Minister's Ten Point Plan
Managing Director Mike Reynolds responds to the Prime Minister's Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution.
I was pleased to see the government’s 10 point plan last night and I’m confident it will realise new investment and take a crucial step forward in the right direction towards net zero. As an impatient optimist, I look forward to seeing further announcements before COP26 next year, to put more meat on these bones and to link policies and funding to expected outcomes to meet carbon budgets. It’s important we hold ourselves to account on how the plan on the table meets the transformative change that’s needed before my 8-year-old daughter celebrates her 40th birthday.
Picking out a few specific points for my two cents:
- Focus on buildings and energy efficiency is urgently needed – it’s great to see the Climate Change Committee’s number 1 priority included in the Government’s list of 10. What we need next is detail on the mix of carrots and sticks to be used to accelerate the transformation and get buildings using less energy and powered by clean sources in an affordable way.
- Installing 600,000 heat pumps annually by 2028 shows the ambition to boost the clean heating sector. Vattenfall could deliver a lot of those and I’m keen for us all to get going with this as soon as possible because I think we will need to go well beyond this total figure. For context, last year alone 1.7m gas boilers were replaced with…. new gas boilers. So 600,000 heat pumps sounds like a lot until you realise it is less than half of the current retrofit market.
- Resolving the role of hydrogen presents an important landmark and we’ll be following the trials closely, both in the UK and for similar programmes across the continent to ensure we get the right end results for customers. The Government’s goal of getting an entire town onto H2 for heat by the end of the decade sets the challenge and should bring much-needed clarity to the long term role of the gas network in the future net-zero energy system.
- Increasing nuclear and renewable capacity continues the cleaning of the electricity grid enabling us to drive fossil fuels out of the power system. Combined with the acceleration of the petrol and diesel ban this sets a clear long term goal that’s not open to interpretation and helps to simplify decisions for the energy, property and transport sectors. This is good clear planning for the intended outcome at the end state.
For the towns, cities and organisations across the UK who have set have net-zero targets (many in the next 10 years!) – they now need to be aligning this list with tangible delivery programmes and investment strategies on the back of these points as more details are announced in the coming months. We’re already working with our partners to do exactly this.