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The Clean Growth Strategy– What is it and how is the UK government approaching it?

ByDave Stopher

Jun 29, 2018

The Clean Growth Strategy was launched by the UK government as part of its promise to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses across the country. The proposal outlines their aims over the coming years and how they will work towards creating a lower-carbon future.

If you wish to know more about this, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (or BEIS) can be read in full here. Pushed for time? Don’t worry, because gas mains specialist Flogas Britain has made things easier for you. Read on to learn about the strategy’s key points, and what they mean for homes and businesses in the UK.

 The UK’s commitment to climate change.

In order to understand the UK’s commitment to climate change, it is helpful to understand the legislation that helped to introduce the Clean Growth Strategy.

The Climate Change Act, first introduced in 2008, outlined Britain’s carbon reduction target. The bottom line? To reduce our emissions of greenhouse gas by at least 80% by 2050 (compared to levels in 1990).

 Is this target achievable?

In March 2007, BEIS published data revealing that the UK is on course to hit this target; since 1990, the country has seen a 42% drop in carbon emissions. This progress is promising; however the government recognises that there is still a lot of work to be done – which is where the Clean Growth Strategy comes in.

How important is the Clean Growth Strategy?

There are two factors that play into making the strategy a success; increasing economic growth and decreasing emissions. With these factors in mind, the two guiding objectives supporting this strategy are:

  • To meet our domestic commitments at the lowest possible net cost to UK taxpayers, consumers and businesses.
  • To maximise the social and economic benefits for the UK from this transition.

In order to realise this vision, the government has agreed to introduce lower-carbon processes, systems and technologies across the UK – this will be done in the most cost-effective way, to the benefit of both homes and businesses.

What are the main proposals?

The Clean Growth Proposal focuses on six key areas. Collectively, these are responsible for 100% of carbon emissions in the UK.

  • Improving business and industry efficiency (25% of UK emissions)
  • Improving our homes (13% of UK emissions)
  • Accelerating the shift to low-carbon transport (24% of UK emissions)
  • Delivering clean, smart, flexible power (21% of UK emissions)
  • Enhancing the benefits and value of our natural resources (15% of UK emissions)
  • Leading the public sector (2% of UK emissions)

The full list of pledges can be read in this executive summary.

How will this impact homes and businesses?

The government will look to support and encourage homes and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint in a number of ways. One of the main focus points will be reassessing the fuels that we use for tasks like cooking, heating and powering industrial and manufacturing processes – and embracing greener, cleaner alternatives.

This will help to encourage the use of renewable technologies (including solar panels, biomass boilers and heat pumps) in the long term, and favour cleaner fuels. For example, for off-grid homes and businesses, the strategy sets out specific plans to phase out high-carbon forms of fossil fuels like oil. As the lowest-carbon conventional off-grid fuel, oil to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) conversions will play a key part in replacing oil in rural parts of the country.

The lowest-carbon fossil fuel available today is natural gas, due to its accessibility and affordability. Therefore, it will continue to be a popular choice for use in buildings linked to the mains network. Flogas, which specialises in highly competitive commercial mains gas, expects to see this part of its business continue to go from strength to strength.

The company has been an expert in the energy sector for over 30 years and predicts that the ‘green gas’ phenomenon (natural gas injected with a proportion of environmentally friendly biogas) will begin to grow in popularity as the Clean Growth Strategy rolls out.

Has the Clean Growth Strategy received a positive reaction?

A number of key figures across the industry have been supporting the Clean Growth Strategy. Flogas’ Managing Director, Lee Gannon, said: “Through the publication of its Clean Growth Strategy, the government has made clear its intention to reduce carbon emissions from off-grid UK homes and businesses. Natural gas is affordable, versatile, widely available and – most importantly – emits significantly less carbon than the likes of coal and oil.

“As such, it will continue to play a central role as the UK works towards cleaning up its energy landscape. We look forward to working alongside policymakers and wider industry stakeholders to make the Clean Growth Strategy the success that it deserves to be.”

Trade body Oil & Gas UK also supports the strategy. It’s Upstream Policy Director, Mike Tholen, commented: “Oil & Gas UK welcomes the government’s commitment to technology in the strategy, especially with regards to carbon abatement measures such as carbon capture, usage and storage. Oil & Gas UK looks forward to working with the government to see how these technologies can further reduce emissions across the economy.”