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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

IPPR North responds to the British Energy Security Strategy

Commenting on the Government’s British Energy Security Strategy, published today, Jonathan Webb, a senior research fellow at IPPR North said: 

“This strategy does little for the more than a million northerners trapped in fuel poverty. What’s more, it could actively hamper the North’s efforts to drive the UK’s energy system towards a sustainable future in which communities are empowered to lead, and feel the benefits of a ‘just transition’. 

“The North is a clean energy powerhouse - over half of England’s renewable energy is currently generated here. Now, more than ever, our region should be empowered to position itself as a global leader in clean energy generation. To do this, we need ambitious government support for significant quantities of renewable energy. This is our are best bet for rapidly decarbonising the UK’s energy system and developing new fuels like hydrogen. So while it’s positive to hear that government plans to set new targets for wind and solar energy, it shied away from doing the same for onshore wind, or from going further by actually giving communities the opportunity to obtain energy assets themselves, if they wish. 

“This is a strategy that requires urgent improvement. Northern leaders have already begun to develop ambitious plans to increase the North’s renewable energy generating potential. The government should back these plans to ensure the UK has a resilient energy system and that leaves nobody with the impossible decision between feeding their families and heating their homes. A windfall tax on oil and gas profits today could help people immediately, as well as allow for increased investment in renewable energy”. 

ENDS 

Notes:  

IPPR North is the leading think-tank for the north of England, developing bold ideas for a stronger economy and prosperous places and people. For more information, visit ippr.org/north. 

IPPR North’s report, A Northern Energy Strategy, can be found here

IPPR North and IPPR’s report on realising a just transition for the North can be found here

The British Energy Security Strategy is available on the UK Government website here