Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, today backed cleaner energy and gave a glimpse of what might be in-store as part of the Conservative Government’s near-term plans.
Addressing the Conservative Party Conference, he told delegates that it’s businesses that create jobs, wealth and innovation but that “having the right Government, with the right policies, makes a world of difference” and that “planning how we create the best possible conditions for British business in the long term is not optional but essential. Building on your strengths is the cornerstone of good strategy and we have no shortage of them.”
He then listed some of Britain’s strengths, including those in the green economy.
“Our global leadership in combating climate change now presents us with a massive opportunity to enjoy industrial success as we put clean energy at the heart of our industrial future.”
But he also said we must go further.
“We have low carbon energy systems that lead the world, but also a failure of successive governments to replace our ageing power stations.
“This is no time to lower our sights or our standards. This country will never win a race to the bottom. Looking ahead, it’s clear that the only viable path is in the opposite direction. I believe that it is time for our country to have an upgrade.
“An upgrade in our infrastructure. An upgrade in the resilience â€“ and the cleanness â€“ of our energy supplies.”
Putting ‘clean energy’ at the heart of our industrial future is about more than simply building-out renewable energy capacity.
It’s about lowering emissions through a range of technologies, including nuclear – something the government recently committed to by giving the go-ahead for the new Hinkley Point nuclear power station to be built in Somerset.
But, crucially, it’s also developing the skills, manufacturing capabilities and supply chains to do more of it ourselves rather than rely so much on overseas firms. Doing so would create jobs, could be a boon for Britain’s steel industry and engineering sector, and also help to boost exports as part of an integrated industrial strategy.