What to expect in Energy and the Built Environment following the election

Following the result of yesterday's general election, Elmhurst's Technical and Operations Director, Stuart Fairlie, has highlighted all the promises and pledges that were stated within the Conservative’s 2019 manifesto which related to energy and the built environment. From this, energy and housing professionals can see what is likely to occur and can become fully aware of where we are heading as a country.

The summary of statements starts at the very beginning in Boris Johnson’s opening headlines, he states:

“My Guarantee If there is a majority of Conservative MPs on December 13th, I guarantee reaching Net Zero by 2050 with investment in clean energy solutions and green infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions and pollution”

A recognition that British Business will deliver a green revolution:

“And there is only one way to pay for world-class health care and outstanding infrastructure – and that is to foster and encourage the millions of British businesses, large and small, that create the wealth of the nation. Their success is our success. It is thanks to the innovations of British battery makers and turbine designers that we are able to cut CO2 - and achieve our goal of being carbon neutral by 2050. It is precisely because we understand the concept of aspiration, and enterprise, that the UK is now leading a new green industrial revolution.”

Targets for new homes:

“We will continue our progress towards our target of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. This will see us build at least a million more homes, of all tenures, over the next Parliament – in the areas that really need them. And we will make the planning system simpler for the public and small builders, and support modern methods of construction.”

New homes will be:

“Environmentally friendly.
We will support the creation of new kinds of homes that have low energy bills and which support our environmental targets and will expect all new streets to be lined with trees.

“For the Future.
We will encourage innovative design and technology to make housing more affordable, accessible, and suitable for disabled people and an ageing population.”

Investing in People:

“The 2020s will see a transformation in jobs. Automation and computing will change how businesses function. Our plan to deliver clean energy and a carbon-neutral future means new kinds of jobs in new industries. And our departure from the European Union means we can develop forward looking regulations to ensure we are first in line to develop and benefit from the technologies of the future.”

Unleashing Innovation:

“We will focus our efforts on areas where the UK can generate a commanding lead in the industries of the future – life sciences, clean energy, space, design, computing, robotics and artificial intelligence.”

“We will use our £1 billion Ayrton Fund to develop affordable and accessible clean energy that will improve lives and help us to lead the world in tackling climate change.”

Recognising transitions from oil and gas:

“Oil and gas sector deal: The oil and gas industry employs almost 300,000 people, of whom four in 10 work in Scotland. We believe that the North Sea oil and gas industry has a long future ahead and know the sector has a key role to play as we move to a Net Zero economy. We will support this transition in the next Parliament with a transformational sector deal.”

On Climate Change:

“We will lead the global fight against climate change by delivering on our world-leading target of Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, as advised by the independent Committee on Climate Change. We have doubled International Climate Finance. And we will use our position hosting the UN Climate Change Summit in Glasgow in 2020 to ask our global partners to match our ambition”

Research & Development money will be available:

“Our first Budget will prioritise the environment: investing in R&D; decarbonisation schemes; new flood defences, which will receive £4 billion in new funding over the coming years; electric vehicle infrastructure including a national plug-in network and gigafactory; and clean energy

“In the next decade, we will work with the market to deliver two million new high quality jobs in clean growth. We have ambitious targets:

  • Our world-leading offshore wind industry will reach 40GW by 2030, and we will enable new floating wind farms.
  • We will invest £800 million to build the first fully deployed carbon capture storage cluster by the mid-2020s.
  • We will invest £500 million to help energy-intensive industries move to low-carbon techniques.
  • We will support gas for hydrogen production and nuclear energy, including fusion, as important parts of the energy system, alongside increasing our commitment to renewables.
  • We placed a moratorium on fracking in England with immediate effect. Having listened to local communities, we have ruled out changes to the planning system. We will not support fracking unless the science shows categorically that it can be done safely.
  • We will help lower energy bills by investing £9.2 billion in the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals.“

It is obvious that climate change remains at the heart of the Conservative message, and their is belief that the market (British people and businesses) will deliver and benefit from the green revolution that is required. Money will be made available through Research & Development to deliver what is required to transition from Oil and Gas to a carbon neutral position. Buildings and energy appears to remain a  major focus and we wait to see if the government can deliver on these new promises.

We anticipate some activity in 2020, which will include the release of new Part L Building Regulations (this will ensure that the ex-energy Minister, Claire Perry, has an easier time chairing the UN Climate Change talks in Glasgow in Dec 2020), however, Elmhurst strongly believes that real action is now required over Mr Johnson's tenure to ensure that the UK is in a good position to meet its net zero carbon commitments.

Link to Conservative Party Manifesto 2019: https://vote.conservatives.com/our-plan

Article published 13th December 2019

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