UK Budget: £1 billion for UK Net Zero Innovation Portfolio

By Dominic Ellis
UK confirms £1 billion for the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, accelerates low-carbon technology innovations and offshore wind investment

The UK Government has confirmed £1 billion for the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, as announced in the Ten Point Plan, in yesterday's Budget.

The government is accelerating near-to-market low-carbon technology innovations and the aligned £385 million Advanced Nuclear Fund which is developing the next generation of small and advanced modular reactor technologies.

As Chancellor Rishi Sunak pushed the 'Building back greener' drive on the eve of UN COP26, the UK also pledged:

  • £6.1 billion to back the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, boosting the number of zero emission vehicles, helping to develop greener planes and ships, and encouraging more trips by bus, bicycle and foot.
  • Up to £1.7 billion of direct government funding to enable a large-scale nuclear project to reach a final investment decision this parliament, subject to value for money and approvals. The government is in active negotiations with EDF over the Sizewell C project.
  • £380 million for world-leading offshore wind sector, boosting jobs and investment across the UK including offshore wind ports in Teesside and the Humber
  • £120 million for a new Future Nuclear Enabling Fund to support nuclear projects across the UK, with a number of potential sites including the Wylfa in Anglesey, North Wales.
  • A further £8 million was allocated to Project Gigabit to deliver full fibre broadband to 3,600 premises in Scotland, covering Aberdeenshire, Angus, Highland, Moray and Perth and Kinross.

Moreover it committed £3.9 billion to decarbonise buildings, including £1.8 billion to support tens of thousands of low-income households to make the transition to net zero while reducing their energy bills.

A further £625 million for the Nature for Climate Fund, ensuring total spend of more than £750 million by 2024-25 will help meet our commitment to plant at least 7,500 hectares of trees every year in England by 2025 and restore 35,000 hectares of peatland during this Parliament.

Jon Slowe, Director at Delta-EE, said the Budget has shown a shortage of commitments that will bring the UK’s energy policy in line with its ambitious sustainability targets. "With the current energy price crisis hitting consumers hard, no commitments were made to improving the energy efficiency of UK homes. By failing to invest in energy efficiency, the government has missed an opportunity to support an effective, sustainable and long-term approach to dealing with the energy crisis.”

From April 1 2022 the National Living Wage will increase by 6.6% to £9.50 an hour. 

The government also pledged to increase apprenticeship funding in England to £2.7 billion in 2024-25 and continue to invest over £900 million for each year of this Spending Review across the UK on work coaches to ensure Universal Credit claimants receive the best support to find employment.

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