Starmer: Labour Will ‘Throw Everything’ at Net Zero

Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer has set out detailed plans in which he has promised to “throw everything” at net zero if his party wins the next election. In a speech in Leith, Scotland, on Monday, Starmer, said his Green Prosperity Plan “will power us forward towards net zero, generate growth right across the country, end the suffocating cost-of-living crisis, and get Putin’s boot off our throat with real energy security.” “A stronger, more secure Britain, once again at the service of working people, with cheaper bills and clean electricity by 2030,” he said. Teesside Wind Farm, England, photographed on Oct. 6, 2020. (Owen Humphreys/PA Media) £53 billion Off Energy Bills Some of the plans include creating GB Energy, “a new, publicly-owned clean generation company” which will be based in Scotland. GB Energy will make available up to £600 million in funding for councils and up to £400 million in low-interest loans each year for communities, it claims. Under the “Local Power Plan,”  GB Energy will attempt to develop up to 8GW of renewable energy projects, more than twice the size of the world’s largest offshore wind farm within five years. Labour will also create a National Wealth Fund, a new strategic body to “invest and create good jobs in the green industries of the future.” The ban on new onshore wind could also be axed within months of a Labour government coming to power. The party is also pledging to take up to £1,400 off household bills and £53 billion off energy bills for businesses by 2030 with its plans. “Our planning system means it takes 13 years to build an offshore wind farm. I’m not going to let slow connections to the National Grid hold back £200 billion worth of projects, and I’m not going to allow other countries to build the British infrastructure of tomorrow, when those jobs belong in our country,” added Starmer. “No, we’re going to throw everything at this,” he said. The opposition party had promised in 2021 to invest £28 billion a year until 2030 in green projects if it came to power, though watered down its multi-billion-pound “green prosperity plan” in June. ‘Failed Industrial Policies Of The Last Century’ “Starmer’s Green Prosperity Plan creates privileged jobs for the few, at the expense of the many, while undermining our energy security,” Andy Mayer, chief operating officer and energy analyst at the Institute of Economic Affairs, told by email. Mayer said that the plan has “welcome elements” such as reducing the time it takes to plan and permit new energy infrastructure will reduce costs. “Ending the government’s obsession with blocking onshore development will increase options available for new supply,” he said. However, Mayer said that it is otherwise “a return to the failed industrial policies of the last century, using a subsidy-backed state enterprise, GB Energy, to hit net zero job targets by picking technology winners.” “It will invest poorly in dubious solutions that fail to deliver, load costs on our bills and taxes, and in doing so destroy jobs in other parts of the economy,” he said. Rushing to renewables means “loading a grid designed for stable supply with unstable capacity,” he said. “There are solutions to this, batteries, hydrogen and more nuclear, but they are neither available, affordable or scalable by 2030. Let alone if the next government also try to electrify heat and transport at pace,” said Mayer. He warned that banning new drilling in the UK also means “subsidising oil and gas jobs everywhere except Scotland, putting 215,000 North Sea workers at risk.” This, he said, exposes the country more to “fossil fuel imports, which will be less secure, costlier and more polluting for 20-30 years.” Mayer added claims that the plans this will save money, such as specific sums like £1,400 a year per household “are an invention.” “No one knows what energy will cost in the next six months, let alone in five to 50 years’ time. What we do know is that replacing things that work efficiently, with things that don’t, or need backup is unlikely to be cheaper,” he said. “The better strategy is to replace our current supply cautiously, in response to market signals and global innovation, sensitive to the impact on vulnerable energy users, while using competition to keep costs down,” said Mayer. ‘Made in China’ Dieter Helm, professor of Energy Policy and Official Fellow in Economics, New College, Oxford, wrote an opinion piece on his site on Monday which was critical of Labour’s net zero spending plans. Helm has written books on stopping climate change but has also written extensively on the dangers of pretending that the high costs associated with the net zero policy do not exist. “No matter how long the politicians think the calvary of high and volatile prices are going to make the net zero transition cheap, the facts point elsewhere,” said Helm. He also said that the “supply chains do not exist yet to do all this fast-track investment.” “Supply c

Starmer: Labour Will ‘Throw Everything’ at Net Zero

Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer has set out detailed plans in which he has promised to “throw everything” at net zero if his party wins the next election.

In a speech in Leith, Scotland, on Monday, Starmer, said his Green Prosperity Plan “will power us forward towards net zero, generate growth right across the country, end the suffocating cost-of-living crisis, and get Putin’s boot off our throat with real energy security.”

“A stronger, more secure Britain, once again at the service of working people, with cheaper bills and clean electricity by 2030,” he said.

Epoch Times Photo
Teesside Wind Farm, England, photographed on Oct. 6, 2020. (Owen Humphreys/PA Media)

£53 billion Off Energy Bills

Some of the plans include creating GB Energy, “a new, publicly-owned clean generation company” which will be based in Scotland.

GB Energy will make available up to £600 million in funding for councils and up to £400 million in low-interest loans each year for communities, it claims.

Under the “Local Power Plan,”  GB Energy will attempt to develop up to 8GW of renewable energy projects, more than twice the size of the world’s largest offshore wind farm within five years.

Labour will also create a National Wealth Fund, a new strategic body to “invest and create good jobs in the green industries of the future.”

The ban on new onshore wind could also be axed within months of a Labour government coming to power.

The party is also pledging to take up to £1,400 off household bills and £53 billion off energy bills for businesses by 2030 with its plans.

“Our planning system means it takes 13 years to build an offshore wind farm. I’m not going to let slow connections to the National Grid hold back £200 billion worth of projects, and I’m not going to allow other countries to build the British infrastructure of tomorrow, when those jobs belong in our country,” added Starmer.

“No, we’re going to throw everything at this,” he said.

The opposition party had promised in 2021 to invest £28 billion a year until 2030 in green projects if it came to power, though watered down its multi-billion-pound “green prosperity plan” in June.

‘Failed Industrial Policies Of The Last Century’

“Starmer’s Green Prosperity Plan creates privileged jobs for the few, at the expense of the many, while undermining our energy security,” Andy Mayer, chief operating officer and energy analyst at the Institute of Economic Affairs, told  by email.

Mayer said that the plan has “welcome elements” such as reducing the time it takes to plan and permit new energy infrastructure will reduce costs.

“Ending the government’s obsession with blocking onshore development will increase options available for new supply,” he said.

However, Mayer said that it is otherwise “a return to the failed industrial policies of the last century, using a subsidy-backed state enterprise, GB Energy, to hit net zero job targets by picking technology winners.”

“It will invest poorly in dubious solutions that fail to deliver, load costs on our bills and taxes, and in doing so destroy jobs in other parts of the economy,” he said.

Rushing to renewables means “loading a grid designed for stable supply with unstable capacity,” he said.

“There are solutions to this, batteries, hydrogen and more nuclear, but they are neither available, affordable or scalable by 2030. Let alone if the next government also try to electrify heat and transport at pace,” said Mayer.

He warned that banning new drilling in the UK also means “subsidising oil and gas jobs everywhere except Scotland, putting 215,000 North Sea workers at risk.”

This, he said, exposes the country more to “fossil fuel imports, which will be less secure, costlier and more polluting for 20-30 years.”

Mayer added claims that the plans this will save money, such as specific sums like £1,400 a year per household “are an invention.”

“No one knows what energy will cost in the next six months, let alone in five to 50 years’ time. What we do know is that replacing things that work efficiently, with things that don’t, or need backup is unlikely to be cheaper,” he said.

“The better strategy is to replace our current supply cautiously, in response to market signals and global innovation, sensitive to the impact on vulnerable energy users, while using competition to keep costs down,” said Mayer.

‘Made in China’

Dieter Helm, professor of Energy Policy and Official Fellow in Economics, New College, Oxford, wrote an opinion piece on his site on Monday which was critical of Labour’s net zero spending plans.

Helm has written books on stopping climate change but has also written extensively on the dangers of pretending that the high costs associated with the net zero policy do not exist.

“No matter how long the politicians think the calvary of high and volatile prices are going to make the net zero transition cheap, the facts point elsewhere,” said Helm.

He also said that the “supply chains do not exist yet to do all this fast-track investment.”

“Supply chains take time to build up, and there is virtually no chance the supply chains will gear up quickly enough to meet Labour’s 2030 target even if it goes flat out with £28 billion per annum and some more, said Helm.

He added that Britain “does not do much manufacturing at all—it is 80 percent services.”

“There are few, if any, manufacturers of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, electric cars, heat pumps and smart meters, and there are virtually no mineral refiners for the cobalt, lithium, nickel and copper, as well as the rare earths, and almost zero mining of these,” said Helm.

“All will have to be bought from foreigners, and all with that current-account yawning gap. Labour will have to be lent money by foreigners to buy the kit from them, just as the British relied on the United States to give it the military equipment and even food supplies during the Second World War. Almost all those solar panels promised for local roofs will not be ‘Made in Britain,’ and most will be ‘Made in China.'”