Ian Rippin, CEO of MCS – the national standards organisation for renewables – responds to the government’s 10-point plan for a “Green Industrial Revolution”, which aims to make the UK carbon neutral by 2050:
“We welcome the government’s announcement of a 10-point plan for a “Green Industrial Revolution”, supported by £4bn of funding and the creation of 250,000 new jobs. It’s largely positive to see that the ambition with regards to environmental policy is growing.
“However, as the national standards organisation for renewables, we have to question some aspects of the plan. The proposed one-year extension to the Green Homes Grant will allay many industry concerns; as we’ve said since the scheme’s launch, the current six-month timescale was incredibly restrictive.
“We have been calling for an extension to the grant, so the new March 2022 deadline, backed by a further £1bn investment, is a step in the right direction that should enable more installers and consumers to benefit.
“That said, it is vitally important that we support skills and training for the sector. The grant extension needs to be backed by the policy instruments that enable growth while protecting quality and consumer confidence in the technologies available.
“We are poised to scale up the MCS certification scheme, as this announcement underlines the importance and need for competent installers who can deliver installations that are right for consumers’ premises.
“The government also aims to bring forward – to 2023 – the date by which new homes will need to be warmed without using gas heating. A key part of this will include the installation of 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028.
“Though hydrogen, which features heavily in the 10-point plan, carries a certain number of concerns, heat pumps are a proven, safe technology for making our homes more energy efficient. We believe that every consumer should have access to quality renewable energy solutions, delivered to high installation standards.”
Adrian Ramsay, CEO of the MCS Charitable Foundation, responded:
“There are 29 million homes in the country which all need to benefit from energy efficiency and renewable energy measures as part of a comprehensive net zero plan.
“We welcome the government’s growing ambition, but the plan currently falls some way short of a clear path to net zero, which will require more innovative thinking at a policy and investment level.
“On renewable heat, the government’s target of 600,000 heat pump installations per year would represent transformational growth in the sector, but falls someway short of the one million plus that the UK Energy Research Centre and others have projected is needed.
“A “Green Industrial Revolution” needs to translate into policies that create a long-term framework for the growth of the renewables sector. It also goes without saying that a focus on training and skills will be vital for this to work in practice and realise the huge jobs creation potential.”"
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