The unveiling of the UK’s ten-point plan to tackle climate change has been hailed as a major milestone for the green economy.
The plans include a quadrupling of offshore wind by 2030, building 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 and developing the next generation of small and advanced reactors.
The new plan set out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson also sets an earlier 2030 target for the phase-out of sales of new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, up from a previous target of 2040. Hybrid vehicles get a reprieve until 2035. A £1.3 billion fund has been established to back EV charging infrastructure, including residential, on-street and throughout the network of motorways.
National Grid ESO Director Fintan Slye said the acceleration of EVs had a wider role to play in achieving Net Zero.
“Rather than placing a strain on the grid EVs can play a key role in decarbonising both transport and electricity supply, with smart charging and vehicle to grid technology helping us use renewable energy more efficiently, charging when the sun shines or the wind blows and discharging back to the grid at times of peak demand,” he said.
“If delivered, these commitments can have the dual effect of stimulating the economy, focused where possible in the areas of society most affected, while also accelerating the UK along the path to Net Zero”.
Frank Gordon, Head of Policy at the Renewable Energy Association (REA), said: “The electric vehicle charging infrastructure sector stands ready to roll-out enough charge points to meet demand so long as a supportive regulatory regime is in place. Renewable transport fuels will play a critical and complementary role to this policy, and will be needed in greater volumes to ensure that we maximise emissions reductions from the millions of petrol and diesel cars and vans already on our roads, not just from new ones.”
Sir John Armitt, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, said the 2030 deadline for the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans was “an important signal to the market”.