Following on from last week’s Conservative Party conference, this week sees the Labour Party conference take place in Liverpool. The Shadow Secretary of State of Climate Change and Net-Zero, Ed Miliband, gave a speech yesterday setting out Labour’s vision for UK energy. Miliband opened by arguing Labour wanted to be on the side of British people and stated that energy bills had rocketed due to Conservative mismanagement which had not created a clean energy future nor one that was not exposed to Putin’s war in Ukraine. The banning of onshore wind, reduced efficiency and an improper windfall tax were all cited as reasons for this. Instead, Miliband set out Labour’s plans for a different energy future through a series of policy announcements:
- Legislate an energy independence act to establish an electricity system built on clean energy by 2030.
- Increasing capacity of clean energy through doubling onshore wind capacity, trebling solar capacity, quadrupling offshore wind capacity, investing in nuclear, hydrogen, capture and tidal, alongside insulating 19 million homes.
- Creating Labour Local Authorities to have decentralised authorities helping achieve these targets.
- Re-wiring the country through the establishment of GB Energy, a publicly owned energy company which would work alongside private investment to invest over £1billion a year into local and renewable energy.
- A £2.5billion British Jobs Bonus over the course of a Labour government which would provide capital grants to businesses in the renewable sectors.
Elsewhere, the Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, used her speech to also reinforce Labour’s energy credentials by announcing:
- The fast track of planning processes on the grid to ensure more efficiency and help unlock £200billion of private investment which is currently stuck, in turn helping to support 220,000 jobs each year between 2024 and 2035.
- The potential for 20 gigafactories to help produce batteries for EV demand.
- Unlocking funding in the energy sector through an £8billion national wealth fund which would target £3 of private investment for every £1 provided by the fund.
- Clamping down on the use of private jet by ministers which can generate 45 times more emissions than a commercial flight.
Do you think Labour’s emphasis on introducing a greater role for the public sector alongside private investment will help unlock the UK’s renewable energy potential or will the same challenges remain?