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Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer, Labour Party

Labour plan could play a crucial role in the UK’s green energy strategy, says new report

A recent report from RenewableUK has detailed how Labour’s proposed state-backed GB Energy company could positively impact the development of renewable energy projects in the UK. The report, titled “Great British Energy – from pledge to reality,” compiled by Public First, suggests that with proper structuring, GB Energy (GBE) could support new technologies and aid in the transition to clean energy without destabilizing the current energy market.

The report recommends that Labour should quickly establish a clear vision for GBE, aiming for it to become operational within the next 12 months. To avoid political interference and ensure stable investment, the report advocates for GBE to be an operationally independent entity.

Public ownership to boost local support

Initially, GBE should focus on onshore wind and solar projects, which are known for their swift construction and reliable revenue generation. Polling data from Public First indicates that public ownership of energy projects could boost local support, as GBE would be viewed as a trustworthy entity in community consultations. Labour has indicated that GBE will also facilitate local power generation and enhance community ownership of renewable energy through grants and loans for small-scale projects.

The report advises that GBE should start by investing in early-stage projects, taking minority stakes, and forming joint ventures with the private sector to build expertise and capital. In the future, GBE could take on majority stakes and even develop its own projects. Additionally, GBE should diversify into other clean technologies such as floating wind, tidal power, and energy storage, which are expected to grow in the next decade.

60 GW of offshore wind by 2030

Highlighting the significant investment needed to meet Labour’s clean power target by 2030, the report asserts that GBE’s initial 8.3 billion pounds endowment can be invested without displacing private funds. However, it stresses the importance of attracting private sector investment, which is crucial for achieving Labour’s ambitious goal of 60 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, requiring over 100 billion pounds.

Dan McGrail, Chief Executive of RenewableUK, emphasized that GB Energy could play a crucial role in the energy transition, particularly in innovative technologies and community projects. He urged the new Government to quickly outline GB Energy’s purpose and lift the ban on onshore wind to attract private investment and bolster the UK's clean energy ambitions.


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