The announcement of the new £12 billion UK Infrastructure Bank and green bonds were marked highlights in yesterday’s Budget. Chancellor Rishi Sunak presented the financial statement to parliament (3 March), outlining his economic plans as the nation looks to a route out of the COVID-19 lockdown and towards ‘Building Back Better’. However, despite Sunak stating “a real commitment to green growth” is needed, many in the energy sector were disappointed that wider support for renewables and other green technologies wasn’t given. Companies, groups and charities operating in the energy and environmental space gave Current± their reactions to the Budget.
Current 4th March 2021 read more »
The Guardian view on climate and the budget: Sunak fails the green test. The absence of green measures was not the only sense in which this week’s budget was a missed opportunity. The failure to address social care was another sign that the government is far more interested in short-term point-scoring than forward planning. But it is hugely disappointing that the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, did not choose to make the environment a big theme of this pandemic budget, all the more so in light of the UK’s crucial role as host of the upcoming Cop26 climate talks in November.
Guardian 4th March 2021 read more »
The Government is launching a £20million programme to support the building of floating offshore wind technology, Rishi Sunak announced in today’s Budget. The Chancellor is hoping the new development, plus other proposals, will help the UK reach its current target of net zero emissions by 2050. As part of its plans to expand offshore wind technology, the Government will make an offer of support to the Able Marine Energy Park on Humberside to upgrade ports infrastructure for the next generation of offshore wind.
This is Money 3rd March 2021 read more »
Commitments to support solar and storage were notably absent from chancellor Rishi Sunak’s 2021 Budget, despite the welcome news of a UK-Infrastructure Bank and green bonds. Announced today, the Budget focused predominantly on continued support for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, and the pathway out of it. While there was wider relief announced for businesses in retail and hospitality, the energy sector’s calls for a reduction in VAT on a range of renewable energy products including solar and storage were ignored. Similarly, the Green Homes Grant was notably absent from the Budget, despite concern the scheme will be shut early, hurting solar and energy efficiency installers as well as denting domestic sustainability schemes in the future.
Solar Power Portal 3rd March 2021 read more »
The property industry has joined a growing backlash over the lack of green measures in the budget. Despite the government’s hopes of a “green industrial revolution” and the focus on climate change before the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November, critics said that the budget had failed to deliver policies that would drive significant progress toward Britain’s net zero emissions target. It froze fuel duty, awarded only limited funds to a handful of energy and green innovation projects and was silent on the government’s green homes grant scheme paying householders to make their properties more energy-efficient. Pleas by property investors, architects and MPs for the chancellor to cut the existing 20 per cent VAT rate on retrofitting homes appeared to have fallen on deaf ears. They say homeowners should be encouraged to make their homes more energy-efficient.
Times 5th March 2021 read more »