Chancellor delivers Autumn StatementAutumn Statement 2023 contained a variety of measures related to energy
Energy Investment Plans
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, presented the government’s Autumn Statement 2023 which contained a variety of measures related to energy.
Several of the measures addressed investment, with the government stating it intends to provide £600bn of planned public sector investment over the next five years to underpin future growth and support energy security, net zero, and public services.
It also announced a £960mn Green Industries Growth Accelerator to support the development of supply chains and global growth opportunities.
The government also announced plans to introduce a six-year Climate Change Agreement scheme.
Participants that meet agreed energy efficiency or decarbonisation targets between 2025 and 2030 will be entitled to reduced rates of Climate Change Levy (CCL) from 1 July 2027 to 31 March 2033.
The new scheme will be open to applications for new sectors that meet energy intensity and import penetration criteria and will require more regular reporting of energy and throughput data. The government issued a consultation on the scheme on 22 November, with views sought until 14 February 2024.
In the statement, the government reiterated its intentions to remove barriers to investment in critical infrastructure by reforming the UK’s planning system and speeding up electricity grid connection times.
It is stated that the reformation of the grid connection process will free up 100GW of capacity and help to reduce overall connection delays from five years to no more than six months.
This was supported by the publication of the government’s response to the Electricity Network Commissioner’s report on accelerating electricity transmission network build.
Key elements of this action plan include new proposals for community benefits with up to £1,000 a year off electricity bills for ten years; consulting next year on reforms to energy consenting rules in Scotland; committing to commission the Electricity System Operator to work with government to produce a new Strategic Spatial Energy Plan; and introducing competition into onshore electricity networks in 2024 to benefit consumers.
The government also announced plans to progress the National Infrastructure Commission’s pril 2023 recommendations on planning by delivering reforms to return the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project regime to a two and a half year average consenting time in order to support reformation of the planning sector.
It also intends to strengthen the capacity of the planning system to deliver a better service for businesses, including introducing new premium planning services across England with guaranteed accelerated decision dates for major applications and fee refunds wherever these are not met.
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