Key energy policies from the 2024 general election manifestos

With the 2024 general election imminent, the primary UK political parties are each having their say on how they are going to implement positive change.

This blog highlights what each party is intending to consider, introduce and support when it comes to the energy market, and the environment and net zero targets. There is further information available from each party on their website.

Conservative Party manifesto ‘The Tories’

  • We’ve highlighted the key elements taken from the Conservative Party’s manifesto relating to energy showing their intentions and plans for change:
  • Intend on legislating to ensure ‘annual licensing rounds for oil and gas production from our own North Sea to provide energy to homes and businesses across the country.
  • Intentions to extend windfall tax on oil and gas companies until 2028-9 (unless prices fall back to normal sooner).
  • Intend to create new gas power stations as back-up for renewable energy production.
  • Plan to treble offshore wind capacity in the North East of England, Scotland and Wales.
  • Build two carbon capture and storage clusters based across North Wales, the North West of England, Teesside and the Humber.
  • Invest £1.1bn into the Green Industries Growth Accelerator to support British manufacturing capabilities.
  • Intend to increase nuclear power to establish ‘Great British Nuclear’ and halve the time that it takes to currently have new nuclear reactors approved.
  • Deliver a new gigawatt power plant in Wylfa, North Wales.
  • Assist the UK in becoming a net exporter of electricity.
  • Plan to provide a bonus (on top of contract payments that support offshore wind) rewarding energy firms that invest in manufacturing in the most disadvantaged places in the UK or invest in more sustainable supply chains.
  • Propose to implement a new carbon import charge by 2027. This will be for imports of steel, iron, aluminium, cement and ceramics being imported from countries that are not proactively reducing carbon emissions.
  • Invest £6bn in energy efficiency over the next three years to make UK homes warmer, funding an energy efficiency voucher scheme.

The Conservative party also have a separate set of net zero targets which include maintaining the price cap on energy as well as introducing more efficient local markets for electricity.

The Labour Party 2024 Manifesto

Now we move on to the Labour party which has five national missions. One of them being: ‘Switch On Great British Energy’.

The Labour party proposes launching this new, a publicly owned, clean energy company to enable the country to be more energy independent.
We’ve highlighted some of the key proposals within the Labour party’s manifesto relating to energy below:

  • Intend on having a proper windfall tax on oil and gas companies.
  • Create and establish ‘Great British Energy’ (GB Energy) to create independence from other countries. The publicly owned company will focus on clean energy and drive the UK towards being ‘a world leader in floating offshore wind’.
  • A focus on industrial improvements by the introduction of a ‘National Wealth Fund’ for investing in the UK’s ports, gigafactories, hydrogen and the steel industry.
  • Upgrading the national grid to implement the required infrastructure in order to progress.
  • A ‘Warmer Homes’ incentive to cut household heating bills, also creating jobs for those within the industry i.e. electricians, engineering and construction workers across the UK.
  • Pioneer floating offshore wind farms.
  • More than double the onshore wind capacity to 35GW.
  • More than triple solar power to 50GW.
  • Quadruple offshore wind with an ambition of 55GW by 2030.
  • Progressing and completing nuclear projects such as Hinkley and Sizewell and backing new initiatives, including small modular reactors.
  • Double the government’s target on green hydrogen.

Liberal Democrat Manifesto

The Lib Dems have committed to cutting greenhouse gasses to achieve net zero by 2045 – ‘at the latest’.

Claiming to be able to cut energy bills and create ‘hundreds of thousands of new jobs’, the Lib Dems have boldly stated that the route to net zero will benefit ‘everyone’.

Here are some of the highlights from their manifesto when it comes to net zero and energy targets and their plans:

  • Ensuring all newly built homes are zero carbon.
  • Driving a ten-year upgrade programme to all homes, offering free insulation and heat pumps for households with low income.
  • Incentivise households to install rooftop solar panels that has a guaranteed fair price for energy sold back to the grid.
  • Achieve 90% of energy being produced by renewables by 2030 through investment and strive to move the UK’s legally binding net zero target forward to 2045.
  • Appoint a Chief Secretary for Sustainability in the Treasury.
  • Create both national and local citizen assemblies for their input on climate change decisions.
  • Return international development spending to 0.7% of national income – and making climate change a priority for spend.
  • Implementing a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism for high-emission products to protect our UK businesses from unfair competition.
  • Increasing the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF).
  • Reducing emissions from industrial processes by supporting carbon capture and storage and new low-carbon processes for cement and steel production.
  • Reducing emissions from industrial processes by supporting carbon capture and storage and new low-carbon processes for cement and steel production.
  • Supporting local authorities to produce renewable energy and storage.
  • Require large energy suppliers to sell power they generate to local consumers by working with community schemes.

Scottish National Party (SNP) energy plans

The Scottish National Party are yet to release their manifesto – we’ll try and update this section once the information becomes available.

The Green party plans

The green party are aiming to create a greener, fairer country and world. The climate crisis is their core focus. Below are their key manifesto policies:

  • The Greens will push for a transition to a “zero carbon society as soon as possible” – and more than a decade ahead of the current 2050 target.
  • Introducing a carbon tax on fossil fuel imports and ensuring wind produces 70 per cent of the UK’s electricity by 2030.
  • Delivery of 80GW of offshore wind, 53 GW of onshore wind, and 100 GW of solar by 2035.
  • Bring rail, water and the big five energy firms into public ownership.
  • A £12.4bn investment in skills and training, equipping workers to play a full role in the green economy.
  • £2bn per year in grant funding for local authorities to help businesses decarbonise.
  • They will invest £30 million to reduce emissions and bring energy bills down for good.
  • Stopping all new fossil fuel extraction projects, including recent licences such as Rosebank.
  • New homes would have to meet energy efficiency standards, including installing heat pumps and solar panels “where appropriate”, and the party would push for a street-by-street retrofit scheme to insulate homes.
  • £29bn over the next five years to insulate homes to an EPC B standard or above as part of a ten-year programme.
  • £4bn over the next five years to insulate other buildings to a high standard.

Plaid Cymru

According to their website, Plaid Cymru stand for the fairness, for ambition, for Wales.

They recognise the climate and nature emergencies as the biggest threat to mankind and reaffirm their commitment to reaching net-zero targets in Wales by 2035 and reversing biodiversity decline by 2030.

  • Despite the aims above the only policy from Plaid Cymru in their key policy section related to energy was to devolve the Crown Estate and use the proceeds (and windfall taxes) to create green jobs.
  • Plaid is promising a “Welsh Green New Deal” creating “rewarding, meaningful and fair work” in the emerging green and net-zero sector.
  • They are keen to nationalise the Port Talbot steel plant to retain the ability to produce primary steel in Wales and protect jobs and local communities.
  • They would also explore ‘green’ stell production through green hydrogen.
  • As part of the move towards net-zero, they will establish a Just Transition Commission.
  • They would also establish their own national energy company, Ynni Cymru to expand community owned renewable energy generation across Wales.
  • To support domestic energy consumers, they would introduce a Social Tariff for Energy.
  • Plaid Cymru would devolve the responsibilities of Ofgem to regulate the design of whole-systems energy grids and markets which serve Wales, while aligning with emerging UK, European and global standards.
  • As part of this work, they would establish a Welsh energy systems operator.

What are the Reform UK energy intentions?

Differing from much of the other manifestos, Reform UK have pledged a ‘Contract’ which states what Britian needs (in their eyes) in the first 100 days following the general election.

They claim their energy policies would save the UK £30bn per annum. We’ve put the highlighted messages regarding energy below:

  • The core energy-related policy asked voters to “imagine affordable, stable energy bills”.
  • ‘Scrap net zero’ – the party claims that in doing so, it would save the public sector around £20bn per year.
  • Removal of the annual renewable energy subsidies – around £10bn.
  • Start fast-tracking licences for North Sea gas and oil.
  • Grant shale gas licences on test sites for two years and enable production once proven safe – offering local compensation schemes.
  • Fast-track clean nuclear energy with new small modular reactors, built in Britain. Increase and incentivise UK lithium mining for electric batteries, Combined Cycle gas turbines, clean synthetic fuel and clean coal mining.

So, what does this all mean for the energy market?

It’s clear from all manifestos/contracts that net zero is a strong topic for driving change within the energy market and the UK economy. And, with each party having differing objectives, it is a good time to consider the potential outcome and implications of each – both on an organisational and personal level.

We hope you found this impartial blog both interesting and useful for you to view the 2024 general election energy messages and objectives for each of the UK Government parties.

Would you like to arrange a free consultation with one of our energy specialists?

Let’s discuss how we can assist you with potential savings on your energy contract renewal. Get in touch here.