Cumbria LEP Welcomes Government’s Powering Up Britain Renewable Energy Plans

By Rachael Grealish

The government has set out the Powering Up Britain publication and Cumbria LEP’s Clean Energy Panel has welcomed the plans.

Powering Up Britain sets out the department’s approach to energy security and net zero and the new department’s mission is to replace our energy with cheaper, cleaner, domestic sources.

The government has made the commitment the UK will be powered by renewables including wind and solar, hydrogen, power with carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and new nuclear plants – while recognising the vital role that UK oil and gas will play in the transition.

This paper sets out how the government plans to enhance the country’s energy security, seize the economic opportunities of the transition, and deliver on our net zero commitments. To meet this ambition, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero will deliver:

  1. Energy security: setting the UK on a path to greater energy independence.
  2. Consumer security: bringing bills down, and keeping them affordable, and making wholesale electricity prices among the cheapest in Europe.
  3. Climate security: supporting industry to move away from expensive and dirty fossil fuels.
  4. Economic security: playing our part in reducing inflation and boosting growth, delivering high skilled jobs for the future.

Craig Hatch, Chair of Cumbria LEP’s Clean Energy Panel, has welcomed the plans and pointed out the contribution Cumbria already provides for the UK’s renewable energy.

Cumbria LEP chair
Craig Hatch from Cumbria LEP

“The LEP welcomes the publication of Powering Up Britain, which recognises the importance of cheaper, cleaner, domestic sources of energy, going forward,” He said. “Cumbria already produces 5.6% of the UK’s renewable energy so we are extremely well placed to take forward the priorities within Powering up Britain”.

“We have been supporting Carlton Power on its green hydrogen project in Barrow-in-Furness so are very pleased to see this shortlisted for the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund. This major project will be a catalyst for new investment and further support the growth of a hydrogen economy right here in Cumbria – diversifying our clean energy sources and underpinning our security of supply.

“We welcome the commitment to Carbon Storage where we see Morecambe Bay as a potential significant natural carbon storage asset for the UK. We look forward to supporting Spirit Energy with an application against Track 2 of the CCUS scheme, which will provide skilled jobs into the future as the Barrow Gas Terminal transitions away from natural gas operations.

“Nuclear generation is a vital component of future electricity generation with Great British Nuclear now poised to deliver a national co-ordinated programme, which is to be welcomed, as is Government’s support for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). Cumbria is ideally placed to take forward SMRs, given our heritage and expertise, from both a siting and manufacturing perspective. We look forward to playing our part in making Powering Up Britain a reality.”