Labour’s plan to borrow £28bn a year for the party’s flagship “green prosperity plan” has triggered tensions within Sir Keir Starmer’s frontbench team – and among the energy executives who would have to implement it.
Starmer spent much of last week prevaricating over the plan, drawn up with Ed Miliband, which promises to cut domestic and business energy bills, create 1m jobs and turn the UK into a “clean energy superpower”.
But now the pair face a chorus of questions about whether it is possible.
A central pillar is the pledge to make Britain’s electricity grid zero-carbon by 2030, meaning the removal, or mitigation, of all carbon emissions.
That is a target that many industry insiders say borders on the fanciful.
It is far more ambitious than the Government’s target to accomplish the same goal by 2035 – one which experts already regard as ambitious.
To succeed, Starmer and Miliband will have to cut the planning delays and bureaucracy that have snared previous attempts to go faster.
“Do I think it’s probable? No. Is it technically possible? Yes,” says Tom Glover, UK chair for energy giant RWE, one of the biggest offshore wind farm developers in the world.