The UK will invest more than £2.5 billion ($3.31 billion) into research and development efforts aimed at helping achieve carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reductions targets, as outlined in plans unveiled by the UK’s government on Thursday.
The investments are meant to help the UK achieve the legal emissions reductions targets set by the government already. The sectors that will be impacted by the new program funding cover transport, agriculture, energy, and waste management — all under the Clean Growth Strategy.
“As a part of the funding around 900 million pounds will be spent on innovation. This includes 265 million pounds for smart energy, 460 million pounds to support new nuclear technology, and 177 million pounds to help develop new technology to further reduce the cost of renewables such as innovations in turbine blades for wind power,” Reuters reports. “It will also invest up to 100 million pounds in technology to capture, use and store carbon dioxide emissions and in industrial innovations to drive down emissions.”
So, what does this all mean in practice? How much more “research” is needed to know what to do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Is the government simply looking to buy time until the UK’s economic problems make the point moot (as emissions will fall considerably with the outbreak of the next recession)? Shouldn’t there be more support for renewables? Or maybe the energy market should be streamlined through nationalization?
Looking at the numbers above, one thing is clear — support for nuclear energy seems to be fairly strong. As you may recall, we published a piece recently about a possible mass deployment of small nuclear energy projects in the UK.
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