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Government's long-awaited industrial strategy backs clean energy growth

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The Government’s newly-unveiled industrial strategy has cited clean growth as one of four “Grand Challenges” it intends to solve in coming years.

In its long-awaited white paper, the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has said that Britain will “maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth.”

Outlining the Government’s plans for the near future, it says that the UK will become a world-leader in terms of “the development, manufacture and use of low carbon technologies.”

In particular, the strategy confirms that the Government intends to embrace new “smart” technologies which will allow for greater storage of electricity, and to invest more time and money into the wider decarbonisation of heat and transport.

The white paper also sets out a plan to build a closer relationship with the offshore wind sector through BEIS’ so-called ‘Sector Deal’.

The white paper states that further discussions regarding the deal – which is thought to include an installed capacity target of 30GW by 2030 and 50GW by 2050 – will continue “in the New Year.”

Despite these advancements, however, the document, entitled Industrial Strategy – Building a Britain fit for the future, has been somewhat poorly received by the renewables sector.

Perhaps most notably, Hugh McNeal, of RenewableUK, has pointed out that BEIS has failed to make any mention whatsoever of onshore wind, wave and tidal energy.

“Renewables are set to become the backbone of our modern energy system and the plummeting cost of wind power means onshore and offshore wind can help improve the competitiveness of UK industry,” he said.

“We are exporting our skills and knowledge worldwide, winning multi-million-pound contracts in wind and marine energy – if this industrial strategy fully supports these world-leading sectors, it can drive growth across all parts of the UK and create tens of thousands of high-value jobs.”

The white paper can be accessed here.