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What are the Energy Policies of the Party Manifestos?

Industry News
Posted on: 06/12/2019
Energy and Jobs Promises in the Party Manifestos 2019

With the general election dubbed The Climate Election, a televised leaders debate specifically on the climate emergency and two thirds of voters saying the crisis will factor into their voting decision – action on climate change has never been so prevalent in politics. 

Now with just a week to go before the country heads to the polls, we take a look at the key energy policies of the election manifestos, and what impact the policies will have on employment. 

Net Zero Goals

In June 2019 Theresa May committed the UK to ending net carbon emissions by 2050, following the advice of the government’s advisory board the Committee on Climate Change and mounting pressure from the school strikes, Extinction Rebellion and public opinion. Many see 2050 as being too far in the future and call for net zero goals to be brought forward. Manifesto promises:

  • Conservatives – Reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 
  • Labour – Aim for net-zero energy emissions by the 2030s
  • Liberal Democrats – Reach net zero emissions by 2045
  • Green Party – Net zero by 2030
  • SNP – 75% reduction in emissions by 2030, net zero by 2045

Renewable Energy and Infrastructure

Transitioning to a green economy is the cornerstone of many manifestos this election, the Green Party have released an ambitious Green New Deal, the Labour Party have the Green Industrial Revolution and both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives make many mentions of the need for clean energy. Here are the key headlines from each party on energy sources in the UK. Manifesto promises: 

  • Conservatives 
    • No specific mentions of new renewables or tidal energy sources, nor of coal or fossil fuels phase out.
    • Will turn attention to clean energy and energy storage after Brexit. 
    • Won’t support fracking unless science shows it can be done safely. 
    • Believes North Sea oil and gas has a role to play in meeting net zero commitments. 
    • Supports nuclear energy. 
  • Labour 
    • 90% electricity and 50% of heat from renewable and low carbon sources by 2030. 
    • Plans to build 7,000 new offshore wind turbines, 2,000 new onshore wind turbines, enough solar panels to cover 22,000 football pitches, new nuclear power. 
    • 3% GDP to be spend on research and development of clean technologies and battery storage
    • Permanent ban on fracking.
    • Trial and expand tidal energy. 
    • Windfall tax on oil companies, and a safeguarding of jobs in oil and gas industry.
    • Supports nuclear energy. 
    • Will create new public agency who will own the national grid, and bring supply arms of big six energy companies into public ownership.
  • Liberal Democrats 
    • Investment in renewable power so that at least 80% of UK electricity is from renewable sources by 2030
    • Investment for new energy sources including tidal and wave power, hydrogen and energy storage
    • Ban on fracking
    • Will end support from UK Export Finance for fossil fuel related activities
    • No mention of nuclear energy or North Sea oil and gas
  • Green Party
    • Wind power to provide 70% UK electricity by 2030 and new support for solar, geothermal, tidal and hydro renewable energies to provide most of the remaining 30%
    • Expand energy storage capacity with a £4.5bn investment
    • Permanent ban on fracking and all fossil fuel extraction
    • Rapid decommissioning of the North Sea oil rigs and transition workers into new green jobs
    • No new nuclear power stations.
  • SNP
    • Allow onshore wind and solar to compete for contracts for difference support, as well as floating offshore wind and tidal stream generation. 
    • Accelerated deployment of fully operational carbon capture utilisation and storage facilities.
    • A £3 billion portfolio of projects, including renewables, waste and construction.  
    • Ringfencing of oil and gas receipts to create a Net Zero Fund to pay for energy transition, with at least £1bn for a Net Zero Industrial Strategy to help diversify economies of oil hubs and communities where many are employed in oil and gas industries. 
    • Opposes all fracking. 
    • Opposes new nuclear power.

Energy Efficiency and Housing

56% of the UK’s total emissions are caused by energy use in buildings, making it a hot topic for parties mindful of such statistics. Improving housing and building regulations with a greater focus on smart technologies, insulation and energy generation has become a key focus, with plans which will also generate thousands of new jobs.

  • Conservatives 
    • £9.2bn investment to improve energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals
    • Full fibre and gigabit capable broadband to every home and business across the UK by 2025, aided by £5bn public funding.
  • Labour 
    • £60bn investment to upgrade almost every home in Britain to the highest energy standards feasible by 2030.
    • Roll out of solar power for homes, public buildings and businesses.
    • Reform building standards to ensure all new homes built from 2022 have full connectivity to ultra-fast broadband.
  • Liberal Democrats 
    • Will introduce a zero-carbon homes standard for all new homes, and measures to modernise public buildings.
    • An emergency programme to insulate all Britain’s homes by 203, supported by £6bn investment per year.
    • Adopt a Zero-Carbon Heat Strategy, requiring the phased installation of heat pumps in homes and businesses off the gas grid.
    • Reform building standards to ensure all new homes built from 2022 have full connectivity to ultra-fast broadband.
  • Green Party 
    • Pledge to improve the insulation of every home in the UK, retrofitting 10 million homes by 2030.
    • Roll out solar panels and other forms of renewable domestic energy generation.
    • All new houses built to Passivhaus standard, and rented properties are A rated for energy efficiency.
    • Replace boilers with renewable heat from heat pumps, solar thermal, geothermal, biomass and stored heat technologies. 
    • Roll out high speed broadband, and better connect rural communities. 
  • SNP 
    • A reduction in VAT on energy efficiency improvements in homes. 
    • From 2024 all new homes must use renewable or low carbon heat. 

What Do These Policies Mean for Jobs? 

  • Conservatives – “In the next decade, we will work with the market to deliver two million new high-quality jobs in clean growth.”
  • Labour – “Labour will kick-start a Green Industrial Revolution that will create one million jobs in the UK to transform our industry, energy, transport, agriculture and our buildings, while restoring nature.”
  • Liberal Democrats – “UK low-carbon businesses already have a combined turnover of £80 billion and directly employ 400,000 people, and under our proposals these will grow.” No specific number given of how many jobs will be generated by jobs in energy and infrastructure. 
  • Green Party – “The creation of millions of new jobs in renewable energy, transport, land management and other sectors transformed by the transition to a net zero carbon economy.” 
  • SNP – “We want Scotland to be a leader in the development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, which has the potential to create thousands of jobs while helping to fight climate change.” Also pledges to create a transition fund for communities which are reliant on the oil and gas sectors. 

No matter which party forms the new government following the election, one thing is certain: the need for skilled workers in the energy industries is growing and will continue to expand over the coming years. If you’re looking for a new role in the energy industry get in touch with our specialist team. We work with local, national and international companies with exciting positions in all areas of the renewable, oil and gas and nuclear industries. View our current vacancies online, give our office a call on +44 (0) 1502 564892 or email us at cvs@peoplewithenergy.co.uk

Our latest vacancies are posted on social media. Be at the head of the queue by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Find out more

  • Edie have a comprehensive comparison of party manifestos on climate change and the environment, click here to view online or download a pdf. 
  • Institute for Government have created a manifesto tracker, breaking down and analysing the key policy commitments of the manifestos, view online here
  • Greenpeace have ranked party manifestos based on commitments on climate and nature, releasing a league table of the parties, click here
  • The BBC have developed a tool to compare the key policies of parties by topic, including the environment, work and benefits and the economy, click here

Manifestos in Full