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Wera Hobhouse MP: The constructing blocks for a brand new industrial revolution are there – however Authorities complacency is stopping us from utilizing them to construct our future. 

Wera Hobhouse is the Liberal Democrats’ Local weather Change and Transport Spokesperson and MP for Bathtub 

What is going to the UK seem like when it’s not completely depending on fossil fuels? 

100 years in the past, crude oil and gasoline had been first harnessed for energy. Since then, they’ve turn into not solely the first power and energy sources for the nation, but additionally the constructing blocks for petrol, diesel, jet gas, and way more. The latter merchandise are a testomony to the revolutionary capability of utilizing chemical compounds within the power manufacturing course of.

We now have the chance to outline the subsequent century by utilizing chemical compounds for power as soon as extra. This time, alongside renewables, for kickstarting a inexperienced revolution.

Let’s start by wanting on the well-seasoned tech that may play a key position on this course of. Wind, photo voltaic and hydro energy are the renewable superpowers already on the tip of our fingers. Not solely are they sustainable, they provide an inexpensive and dependable various to polluting fossil fuels. The worldwide common lifetime value of electrical energy technology for onshore wind was 39% decrease than the most affordable new fossil gas generator in 2021. And these enticing prices will solely lower additional as we construct extra.

So how will we construct extra? The simplest factor governments can do is to take a position, make investments, make investments. Not solely does this make the UK a pretty vacation spot for trade, however it’s going to additionally contribute to the creation of latest jobs in flip. Funding may be accomplished properly, reminiscent of by means of the Contracts for Distinction scheme, which has been probably the most profitable software to develop renewable power at velocity prior to now decade. This scheme is extra simply described as mounted value contracts for the electrical energy produced for a 20 12 months interval. After 20 years, the electrical energy from these installations ought to be low cost, as they are going to be out of contract.

However the authorities slashed the fifth Allocation Spherical (AR5) of the scheme’s price range by a staggering 28% in comparison with Allocation Spherical 4 (AR4), falling from £285 million to £205 million. Unsurprisingly, AR5 didn’t end in a single new offshore wind mission.

Although each ought to be on the forefront of their minds, it’s clear the Conservatives will not be dedicated to both the inexperienced revolution or getting power payments down. In the event that they had been really critical about mitigating local weather change they’d give companies the understanding and steerage they should construct and erect renewable applied sciences. 

Whereas we are able to drive vehicles that may run on a battery and cook dinner meals on an electrical hob, some issues require totally different options. The federal government should additionally realise that the inexperienced revolution doesn’t finish at electrical energy. We additionally have to harness new chemical processes important for realising our shared sustainable future. 

Virgin Atlantic’s Flight 100 is an ideal instance of the significance of chemical compounds to this objective. The primary worldwide flight to be powered completely by artificial gas, Flight 100 signalled the emergence of inexperienced tech from the business valley of dying to the thrilling realm of actuality. We will now moderately hope that artificial fuels will progressively exchange kerosene for home flights within the UK. Benefiting from this chance sooner slightly than later might assist the UK turn into forward of the curve, a world powerhouse for inexperienced innovation and a monetary beneficiary.

But this hope will stay simply that, except the federal government can see the potential that’s crystal clear to so many others. We’d like present and future UK governments to grab the potential of chemical innovation by the horns and help new industries to scale up. 

The constructing blocks for a brand new industrial revolution are there – however Authorities complacency is stopping us from utilizing them to construct our future. 

The irreversible change to our pure world won’t get higher whereas we dither and delay. The brand new industries of the longer term want authorities backing as shortly as doable.

The advantages of renewables are unmistakable, as are the advantages of chemical options to local weather change mitigation. The query now could be whether or not we’ll harness their potential in tandem, or keep sitting on this golden alternative. 

The put up Wera Hobhouse MP: The building blocks for a new industrial revolution are there – but Government complacency is preventing us from using them to build our future.  appeared first on Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK's progressive debate.