To help drive decarbonisation in the UK, the government has committed to publishing a Net Zero Strategy.
In its response to the Committee on Climate Change's (CCC) Progress Report from June, the government yesterday (15 October) announced its plan to publish the decarbonisation strategy ahead of next year's COP26 event.
“The strategy will set out the government’s vision for transitioning to a net zero economy, making the most of new growth and employment opportunities across the UK. These will raise ambition as we outline our path to hit our 2050 target,” wrote energy secretary Alok Sharma energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng in their foreword to the response.
Beyond this, the government's report responded to every part of the CCC’s report, celebrating progress made already and highlighting some key areas of development.
This included the reintroduction of Pot One Contracts for Difference (CfD) auctions, which will see solar as well as onshore wind able to compete for the subsidy for the first time since 2015.
The allocation will help accelerate the deployment of onshore wind and solar, “both of which will be key to delivering net zero at low cost,” the report notes. The next allocation round will open in late 2021, with a target to support doubling the capacity of renewable electricity compared to that secured in the 2019 allocation round.
Solar Trade Association chief executive Chris Hewett welcomed the “constructive steps” taken by the government on “what will undoubtedly be a long road", adding that the "announcement of a comprehensive Net Zero Strategy is welcome".
“What we need to see in that strategy is the same level of ambition for solar and battery storage as there has been for wind. Britain needs to triple its solar capacity in the next decade in order to get on track for net zero.”
The Net Zero Strategy will be released in addition to the delayed Energy White Paper, which is expected to lay out a pathway for green energy. It was originally supposed to be published in the summer of 2019, but the most recent comment from government suggests it is expected in Autumn 2020.
It is hoped this, together with the Net Zero Strategy, will help provide details on the role of solar and energy storage as the UK moves towards net zero by 2050.
To read the government's full response to the CCC’s Progress Report, click here.