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What’s next for the clean energy transition?

After the party conference season, the opportunities and challenges of clean energy transformation become clearer

Neither of Britain’s two main political parties has impressed with their commitment to a green transition in recent months. But as I watched Keir Starmer address a cavernous hall at the Labor Party conference, I felt hope that the opposition leader might finally have turned the tables. One area where the opposition’s vision for the country is superior to that of the current government is clean energy. At the conference, as I watched and engaged with hitherto obscure energy policies, such as upgrading the grid or building more local energy, the party seemed serious about making the UK a clean energy superpower. But words and reality are two different things, and whoever is in government after the next election will have to make a transition unlike any in our history.

Take the power grid as an example.State Grid, the operator of all our transmission lines, predicts we will need Build more than 5 times the transmission capacity The pace of development in the next seven years will exceed that of the past 30 years; the number of submarine cables will be four times that of today. The scale of the challenge is enormous and we will have to contend with a highly competitive global cable market, Demand far exceeds supply.Securing this emergency supply by making large purchases on the open market and investing in new products Domestic supply chainare critical to achieving these goals.

But it’s not just a market challenge. Obtaining public and planning permission is another major bottleneck for clean energy projects. For some projects Waited for more than ten years Connect to the grid.Both major political parties, as well as some energy suppliers, appear committed to finding solutions to the problem Compensation household Embrace the cost of new energy infrastructure in your backyard through reduced energy bills or a one-time payment.Ensure that such plans are effectively designed and underpinned by The principle of fairness will be key to the next administration.

see the Labor Party committed to NumberAccelerating” Climate Mission. Starmer’s speech drew a clear line on net zero emissions and was in stark contrast to the government.However, while these rhetorical differences are important, the broader political economy of net zero is beginning to became very confusing.If Labour’s clean energy mission is already looking Ambitiouslarge-scale economic transformation will place more demands on policymakers.

This became apparent to me during a fringe event discussion about the future of hydrogen.Contributions to the group come from a variety of fields hydrogen lobby Selling myths about heat pumps to the GMB union and selling the dream of hydrogen boilers to households across the country – all of which went unchallenged. 44 independent academic research paper Their claims have been debunked, but it’s clear that the old fossil fuel industry that bet its future on hydrogen isn’t going away quietly.

Still others argue that policymakers should not pick winners and let the market compete to find the leading technology solution.After all, that’s what we do in cars, incentivize all forms of alternative vehicles, but electric vehicles top the list Become the clear winner. However, unlike most automakers that have been able to switch to electric, While creating more job opportunitiesFor gas companies and their employees, the net-zero transition makes even more existential sense. The challenge is not just to find favorable technical evidence to support heat pumps versus hydrogen, but more importantly to win the support of unions and workers, otherwise the switch will remain unjust.Similar challenges exist in food and aviation sector Controversial solutions combined with genuine public fears create a powerful combination that can political exploitation.

Whoever comes to power after the next election will need to respond quickly to a net-zero political economy that risks spiraling into chaos. Early signs suggest Labor appears ready to rise to the challenge. Ed Miliband summed up Labour’s approach neatly: NumberBidenomics with a British twist”.If guiding state finances to attract private capital and actively channeling private capital to achieve specific social and economic outcomes is one of An aspect of BidenomicsThe creation of new institutions such as Great Britain Energy to lead the transformation is perhaps British, or should we say European. But whatever one calls it, it is a welcome ideological shift from the past 15 years, and time will tell whether it materializes.

Picture: iStock

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