Net Zero Damp Squib

By Paul Homewood


Net Zero? More like damp squib!



  • Net Zero Strategy sets out how the UK will deliver on its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050
  • outlines measures to transition to a green and sustainable future, helping businesses and consumers to move to clean power, supporting hundreds of thousands of well-paid jobs and leveraging up to £90 billion of private investment by 2030
  • reducing Britain’s reliance on imported fossil fuels will protect consumers from global price spikes by boosting clean energy
  • it comes as the UK prepares to host the UN COP26 summit next week, where the Prime Minister will call on other world economies to set out their own domestic plans for cutting emissions

A landmark Net Zero Strategy setting out how the UK will secure 440,000 well-paid jobs and unlock £90 billion in investment in 2030 on its path to ending its contribution to climate change by 2050 has been unveiled by the UK government today (19 October).

Building on the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan, today’s UK Net Zero Strategy sets out a comprehensive economy-wide plan for how British businesses and consumers will be supported in making the transition to clean energy and green technology – lowering the Britain’s reliance on fossil fuels by investing in sustainable clean energy in the UK, reducing the risk of high and volatile prices in the future, and strengthening our energy security.

The commitments made will unlock up to £90 billion of private investment by 2030, and support 440,000 well-paid jobs in green industries in 2030. This will provide certainty to businesses to support the UK in gaining a competitive edge in the latest low carbon technologies – from heat pumps to electric vehicles – and in developing thriving green industries in our industrial heartlands – from carbon capture to hydrogen, backed by new funding.

As part of the strategy, new investment announced today includes:

  • an extra £350 million of our up to £1 billion commitment to support the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains and another £620 million for targeted electric vehicle grants and infrastructure, particularly local on-street residential charge points, with plans to put thousands more zero emission cars and vans onto UK roads through a zero emission vehicle mandate
  • we are also working to kick-start the commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from sustainable materials such as everyday household waste, flue gases from industry, carbon captured from the atmosphere and excess electricity, which produce over 70% fewer carbon emissions than traditional jet fuel on a lifecycle basis. Our ambition is to enable the delivery of 10% SAF by 2030 and we will be supporting UK industry with £180 million in funding to support the development of UK SAF plants
  • £140 million Industrial and Hydrogen Revenue Support scheme to accelerate industrial carbon capture and hydrogen, bridging the gap between industrial energy costs from gas and hydrogen and helping green hydrogen projects get off the ground. Two carbon capture clusters – Hynet Cluster in North West England and North Wales and the East Coast Cluster in Teesside and the Humber – will put our industrial heartlands at the forefront of this technology in the 2020s and revitalise industries in the North Sea – backed by the government’s £1 billion in support
  • an extra £500 million towards innovation projects to develop the green technologies of the future, bringing the total funding for net zero research and innovation to at least £1.5 billion. This will support the most pioneering ideas and technologies to decarbonise our homes, industries, land and power
  • £3.9 billion of new funding for decarbonising heat and buildings, including the new £450 million 3-year Boiler Upgrade Scheme, so homes and buildings are warmer, cheaper to heat and cleaner to run
  • £124 million boost to our Nature for Climate Fund helping us towards meeting our commitments to restore approximately 280,000 hectares of peat in England by 2050 and treble woodland creation in England to meet our commitments to create at least 30,000 hectares of woodland per year across the UK by the end of this parliament
  • £120 million towards the development of nuclear projects through the Future Nuclear Enabling Fund. There remain a number of optimal sites, including the Wylfa site in Anglesey. Funding like this could support our path to decarbonising the UK’s electricity system fifteen years earlier from 2050 to 2035

Despite the bold statements, it seems as if the Treasury has won this little battle. In particular the much heralded boiler upgrade scheme will only cover 90,000 homes at £5000 a pop. Worse still, this is spread over 3 years. Given the fact that homeowners will still have to fork out thousands more on top of the grant, I doubt whether even 90,000 will take up the offer anyway.

The other items listed are also disappearingly small, and will make little difference in practice, other than kickstarting a few pilot projects.

There is a lot of wishful thinking about heat pumps coming down in price, and ensuring they are no more expensive to run (which means adding green levies to gas bills). But no mention of how homeowners will be able to pay for them if they don’t.

In reality, this new announcement takes us no further forward than we were before.

The ban on the sale of gas boilers after 2035 and petrol/diesel cars after 2030 is confirmed. But we knew that anyway. And there is still talk of a hydrogen strategy emerging in a few years time.

But there are no concrete proposals for what happens next. Or, for that matter, how much it will all cost and who will pay. Maybe we should thank the Chancellor for that!


The Telegraph’s report includes this:


People will be absolutely furious when they find out the true cost.


They also ran this article last month, with comments by Chris Stark:





Note the comment that only one in five homes will get away without adaptation. Clearly Stark knows that heat pumps can never be competitive without government intervention of one sort or another.


October 19, 2021 at 11:36AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s