Clean, green energy was top of the bill at Labour Conference 2022, with a range of progressive and much needed policy pledges announced throughout, including Keir Starmer’s landmark commitment to create a publicly owned renewable energy company if Labour wins the next general election.
As a member of Ed Milliband’s team and Shadow Minister for Energy and the Green New Deal, I was proud and excited to share our plans with conference delegates and the public.
When Ed gave his speech on Monday, he announced Labour’s plan to launch an urgent mission for a fossil fuel free electricity system by 2030, making the UK a clean energy superpower, exporting clean power to the rest of the world. This plan would save UK households £93 billion over the rest of this decade.
To achieve this target, by 2030 a Labour government would quadruple offshore wind, triple solar power, double our onshore wind capacity and unleash marine and tidal power. We would ensure the long-term security of nuclear power – getting projects at Sizewell and Hinkley over the line – all while investing in carbon capture, storage and hydrogen to ensure that there is sufficient zero-emission back-up power. We would double down on green hydrogen for use particularly in flexible power generation, storage, and industrial processes like green steel. Over the coming decades, we would also manage existing oil and gas wells sustainably, while putting a stop to new oil and gas licences and continuing to oppose fracking.
Based on future price projections, our world-leading plans would save each UK household an average of £475 every year until 2030. They will support the creation of over 200,000 direct jobs and up to 260,000-300,000 indirect jobs. Alongside this, they will complement our plan to increase energy efficiency, including through our Warm Homes Plan to insulate 19 million cold, draughty homes over a decade.
Another central pillar of Labour’s clean energy plans was shared during Keir Starmer’s keynote speech on Tuesday. Labour will establish a British publicly owned company that will help generate the clean power that will cut bills and provide energy security for the UK.
We already have great energy companies investing in Britain. But to roll out clean power at scale, and to ensure that we get the jobs and the supply chains we need in the UK, we need to emulate the success of other European countries and have our own domestic champion. GB Energy will enable long term investments, export potential, and the potential to build wealth for the British people. It will give us national security and new green jobs.
Most importantly of all, it will give us clean power. GB Energy will provide additional capacity as we increase clean power production, alongside the rapidly expanding private sector, to deliver the investment in renewable and nuclear power that Labour has committed to.