Labour unveils ‘mammoth’ multi-billion offshore wind and EV charging pledges

A Labour government would take the UK’s offshore wind capacity to 52GW within the next 10 years and invest billions in EV charging infrastructure, the party has said.

Ahead of shadow energy secretary Rebecca Long Bailey’s speech at the party’s conference today, the party unveiled a raft of clean energy pledges designed at ramping up the country’s renewables portfolio and enabling a widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

Milton Keynes 'Mushrooms' Charging Hub (Image: T. Larkum)

Milton Keynes ‘Mushrooms’ Charging Hub (Image: T. Larkum)

The pledges feed into previously-announced plans to overhaul the UK’s power system, starting with the “immediate” renationalisation of transmission and distribution grids.

The plans also feed into a wider policy agenda, spoken of by Labour deputy leader John McDonnell yesterday, focusing on a UK equivalent of the Green New Deal to tackle climate change, which McDonnell described as the primary political question of today.

Offshore wind and a People’s Power Plan

Labour has pledged to create a ‘People’s Power Plan’, wherein the government will take a 51% stake in as many as 37 new offshore wind farms, to be built in the UK. Those offshore wind farms would swell the country’s offshore wind capacity to 52GW by 2030, marking a significant contribution towards renewable output.

It said the intent for the public to own a majority stake in new developments was designed to prevent private and foreign public firms dominating deployment of offshore wind as they are now. Last week’s offshore wind CfD results, wherein the asset class clinched record low strike prices of £39.65/MWh, saw the third round principally won by companies including SSE, Equinor, Innogy and Statkraft.

Speaking at the conference today, Long Bailey also said that the country could not “rely on the market to act fast enough”.

Labour has also committed that 80% of all profit generated from the public’s stake in new offshore wind would be redirected to new renewable generation, wider energy system improvements and to aid the “climate transition”.

Read more: Current News

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