The recovery from COVID-19 should help to unlock net zero, according to ScottishPower.
It has outlined ten key steps that would allow the UK to invest, create jobs and build back better as lockdown begins to ease in the UK.
“Our 10 practical steps provide a clear sense of direction and ambition for government and business as we start to come out of this crisis,” said Keith Anderson, ScottishPower CEO.
“These are achievable and deliverable steps that really are within our grasp – providing immediate, inexpensive actions that can be taken now to give an immediate boost to the economy and provide long-term environmental benefits.”
These key steps are split into green generation, net zero networks, electric vehicles (EVs) and low carbon buildings.
For green generation, ScottishPower says Britain should have uncapped future Contracts for Difference (CfD) auctions and prioritise net zero within future planning.
For net zero networks, the government should ensure the right frameworks are in place to attract investment and unlock more with a “more ambitious” approach to the RIIO-T2 and ED2 price controls. All of these actions would not require funding from the government, but help with job creation and a number of other benefits like regional development.
Additionally, the phase-out date for internal combustion engines should be brought forward to 2030. Grant funding for EVs should be maintained, and the government should look to support their adoption by helping to roll-out a comprehensive network of chargers.
Finally, the Future Homes Standard should be brought forward to 2022 and energy efficiency action should be sped up. Grant funding should be increased for heat pumps and heat networks, and a new approach to smart meters should be targeted.
“We don’t need over-ambitious new programmes or giant innovations to deliver the necessary transformation,” continued Anderson. “We need to build low carbon homes, get people into electric cars and construct new wind farms. We can do all these things, and do them quickly, with just small changes to existing government rules and regulations. It really is a no-brainer.
“The time is now and there isn’t a moment to waste if we want to achieve a better future, quicker," he added.
ScottishPower have joined a number of different companies, charities, associations and citizens groups that have provided policy priority suggestions or outlines for the government, collectively calling for a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With our 10 practical steps, we show how the green recovery can become a reality,” finished Anderson.
“And it can be done at little or zero cost to government. Investment can be stimulated, jobs can be created and we can move closer to a cleaner, greener future. All of that is possible by unlocking net zero, and ScottishPower will continue to be at the forefront of making that happen.”