June 20, 2024

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Clean energy ‘is being built within months’, Labor pledges

Clean energy ‘is being built within months’, Labor pledges

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, Providing domestic energy from wind and solar projects is central to Labour’s plan

Labor will start building green energy projects across the country within months if elected, the party said.

The party plans to create a publicly owned company called Great British Energy.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said investing in domestic clean energy production would cut bills.

But the SNP said the project would “destroy Scottish jobs and investment”.

More about green energy

Labor said Great British Energy would “turn the page on the cost of living crisis” by cutting energy bills.

“The pain and misery caused by the cost of living crisis has been directly caused by the Conservatives’ failure to make Britain resilient, leaving us at the mercy of fossil fuel markets controlled by dictators like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” Sir Keir said.

Great British Energy will be headquartered in Scotland, where much of the UK’s fossil fuel and offshore wind industries are based.

Labor will fund the company through a windfall tax on major oil and gas companies, which they said would raise £8.3bn over the next five years.

The party said the company would provide local energy from wind and solar projects across the UK as “early investments”.

Great British Energy will also invest in new technologies including floating offshore wind, and hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.

Greg Jackson, founder of energy company Octopus, has welcomed the plans.

He said: “Labour is right that the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels has added thousands of pounds to bills, and we are pleased to see that they plan to fund a clean energy future by taxing the oil and gas giants.”

The Office for Budget Responsibility recently warned that a similar shock to Russia waging war on Ukraine could cost the UK between £45 billion and £68 billion if the country remains dependent on international energy markets.

In the past two years, the typical household paid £1,880 more than if prices had remained at their previous levels.

The government’s former chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, also supported the creation of Great Britain Energy.

Speaking to the BBC, Sir Patrick said he believed it was possible to move to clean electricity generation quickly “if the government gets its act together”.

“It’s not happening right now the way I think it needs to,” he added.

Conservative Energy Minister Claire Coutinho said Labour’s plans were not funded.

She attacked the party’s moves to stop new oil and gas licenses in the North Sea, claiming jobs would be at risk.

The Scottish National Party said the scheme would use “Scotland’s energy wealth” to fund nuclear projects in England and could cost 100,000 Scottish jobs.

Scottish National Party leader Stephen Flynn described it as a “sham” that would “prevent billions of pounds from investment”.

Labor initially planned to spend £28 billion a year on green investment, but the plan has been scaled back.

The party says the weak public finances they will inherit if elected make their primary ambitions more difficult.

The Green Party said Labour’s plans were not enough.

Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay said “real change” was needed to “meet the demands of the climate crisis”.

He added: “Compared to Labour’s original commitment to spend £28bn a year on green investment, this announcement of just £8.3bn over the course of Parliament appears paltry and nowhere near enough to deliver on Labour’s ‘clean electricity’ promise.