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Government promises low carbon future

£10m for electric car chargers

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Energy Secretary Ed Miliband has outlined our bright, green future in the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan which aims to cut emissions by 34 per cent of 1990 levels by 2020.

Some 21 per cent has already been cut., and by 2020 Miliband reckons we'll have 1.2m in "green jobs", whatever they are. Some 1.5m households will be producing their own energy with government support and 40 per cent of electricity will come from low carbon sources like renewables, nuclear and clean coal.

In this brave new world we will also see cars which emit 40 per cent less carbon than they do now.

The paper hopes about 50 per cent of savings will come from greening up the power supply. This includes £6m for a smart grid, £11.2m to help local authorities fast-track planning decisions on renewables and low carbon energy sources.

The short list for the Severn Barrage project is confirmed, as is approval of a biomass plant in Teeside.

Savings from homes are predicted to provide 15 per cent of the total cut. Ofgem gets more powers. There is £4m for individuals to green their houses which will be paid back from lower energy bills. 15 towns and villages are challenged to become model green towns.

£120m will be spent on offshore wind and £60m on wave and tidal technology and £6m will be spent looking at geothermal energy.

The government is also detailing proposals to create a recharging infrastructure for electric and hybrid cars. More details here.

David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said the move offered huge opportunities for Britain's businesses but he warned: “On the day that the UK’s largest employer in the green energy industry is to cease production of wind turbines [Vesta's wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight closes tomorrow, with production moving to the US], we need to ensure that these announcements are made of real substance.”

The Tories accused the government of paying the price for ignoring the issue for ten years and that the best bits of policy were stolen from them.

The government's website on the assorted ideas is here.®

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