Clean power ‘built within months’ pledges Labour

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Clean power ‘built within months’ pledges Labour

Labour would kickstart the creation of green energy projects across the country within months if elected, the party has said.

The party plans to create a publicly owned company, Great British Energy.

Party leader Sir Keir Starmer said investing in the production of domestic clean energy would cut bills.

But the SNP said the project would “destroy Scottish jobs and investment”.

Labour said Great British Energy would “turn the page on the cost of living crisis” by lowering energy bills.

“The pain and misery of the cost of living crisis was directly caused by the Tories’ failure to make Britain resilient, leaving us at the mercy of fossil fuel markets controlled by dictators like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” Sir Keir said.

Great British Energy would be headquartered in Scotland, where much of the UK’s fossil fuel and offshore wind industries are based.

Labour would fund the company through a windfall tax on big oil and gas firms, which they said would raise £8.3bn over the next five years.

The company would provide homegrown power from wind and solar projects across the UK as “early investments”, the party said. Great British Energy would also invest in new technologies including floating offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.

Sir Keir and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar are in Scotland to launch a new logo and website for Great British Energy.

The plans were welcomed by Greg Jackson, the founder of energy company Octopus.

He said: “Labour is right that the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels added thousands of pounds to bills, and we’re pleased to see that they plan to fund a clean energy future by taxing the oil and gas giants.”

The Office of Budget Responsibility recently warned a similar shock to Russia launching its war on Ukraine could cost the UK £45bn-£68bn if the country remains dependent on international energy markets.

In the last two years, a typical family paid £1,880 more than if prices had stayed at their previous levels.

The government’s former Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance also endorsed the creation of Great British Energy.

Speaking to the BBC, Sir Patrick said he believed it was possible to move to clean electricity generation quickly “if the government gets its act together”.

“It’s not currently happening in the way that I think it needs to,” he added.

Conservative Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho said Labour’s plans were unfunded. She attacked the party’s moves to stop new oil and gas licences in the North Sea, claiming jobs would be at risk.

The SNP said the scheme would use “Scotland’s energy wealth” to fund nuclear projects in England and could cost 100,000 Scottish jobs.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn called it a “con trick” which would “deter billions of pounds of investment”.

The Labour plans include new nuclear projects at Hinkley and Sizewell, extending the lifetime of existing plants, and backing new nuclear capacity including small modular reactors.

Labour initially planned to spend £28bn a year on green investment. But the plan has been scaled back. The party says the poor public finances they would inherit if elected make their initial ambitions more difficult.

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