RWE’s UK Country Chair, Tom Glover has responded to the UK Government’s ‘Powering Up Britain’ package, published today.
He said: “The documents published today set out the Government actions to facilitate the net zero transition. Whilst this clarity is appreciated and there were some welcome announcements, the package does not match the pace of ambition that is needed.
We welcome progress on the timelines for the next stage of Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) cluster sequencing process and that the Viking CCS scheme has been confirmed as best placed to deliver on the Government’s objectives for Track 2. RWE is investing tens of millions of pounds assessing carbon capture and hydrogen combustion options to decarbonise our UK operations. Our target is for the first of our fleet to move to decarbonised operation before 2030 - this ambitious timeline requires significant investment, strong policy and governmental support, and major new national infrastructure to be in place. Given the importance of transporting CO2 by ship in order to decarbonise South Wales, we are pleased to see that the Track-2 stores will be required to demonstrate the potential to receive and store CO2 through non-pipeline transport.
It is important the UK does not rest on its laurels, and retains its position as a world leader in offshore wind. To that end, we welcome £160m of funding to support the development of UK port infrastructure to deliver floating wind (FLOW). It is important that this funding is concentrated in the most appropriate FLOW ports that offer strategic opportunities for the UK. RWE is working closely with the owners of Port Talbot and the Port of Milford Haven – now the combined Celtic Freeport – to investigate the scaling-up of port facilities in support of a pipeline of gigawatt-scale floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea.
However, we have serious concerns that the fifth contract for difference (CfD) auction, being launched today, may not procure the necessary amount of offshore capacity and further reduces the likelihood of reaching the Government’s 2030 target of 50GW. In addition, we are disappointed that apart from the measures already announced previously, there were insufficient new policies or funding to address the current supply chain challenges and competition for international investment in low carbon, low cost energy. With increasingly attractive market opportunities for clean energy elsewhere, the UK must act quickly to ensure it remains an attractive place to invest and we hope that the announced review, led by Lord Harrington, into its approach to attracting foreign direct investment addresses these issues as soon as possible.”