ABU DHABI, Plans for a cleaner and healthier Britain stepped up a gear today, as Ministers announced more than half a billion pounds of investment in green technologies.
The Treasury has launched a Pound 400 million fund, CIIF, to bolster Britain’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with the first Pound 70 million provided by government and UAE renewables investor Masdar – allocated for 3000 charge points. This more than doubles the number across the UK to 5000. The fund is managed by London based Zouk Capital.
Rapid charge points can recharge a family car in as little as 20 minutes, compared to existing technology which can take 40 minutes- making the reality of driving electric vehicles easier and more accessible for people across the country. The UK already has one of the largest electric vehicle charging networks in Europe, and this investment will help make that the fastest by installing state-of-the-art technology.
A review is currently underway to explore the provision of charge points across major road networks, meaning drivers could charge their car whilst stopping for a coffee at a service station. Today’s investment complements Pound 1.5 billion support to boost the uptake of electric vehicles and make cleaner vehicles more accessible to everyone. This is part of the Government’s ambition to end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.
Also being announced today is Pound 31.5 million for research into pioneering technologies to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and Pound 22 million to research new kinds of air pollutants and minimise their effects on public health.
Exchequer Secretary Simon Clarke said: “We are driving ahead with plans to make travel greener while backing British innovation and technology.
“I am delighted to announce this funding today that will more than double the number of rapid charge points for electric vehicles on our roads. Britain already boasts one of the biggest networks of charging infrastructure in Europe and soon we will have the fastest thanks to this investment.
“This is the latest in our proud record on climate change having slashed emissions by over 40% since 1990, whilst simultaneously growing our economy, and setting an ambitious target for net zero emissions by 2050.”
Business, Energy and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK has been going further and faster in tackling climate change by becoming the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050, and helping us seize the opportunities of a greener future. With air pollution thought to kill as many as seven million people a year globally, it’s clear more needs to be done.
“That’s why we’re backing these initiatives, aimed at making improvements from battling air pollutants to protecting our invaluable sea life. These pioneering projects will help us maintain our world-leading position in this field, and to make further strides towards a more sustainable future for our planet.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It’s fantastic there is already a rapid chargepoint at almost every motorway service station, and now more charging stations than petrol stations. But I want to see thousands more chargepoints installed across the UK.
“This fund will help drum up further investment in charging infrastructure from the private sector, so charging an electric car becomes as easy as plugging in a smart phone.”
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (‘Masdar’) said: “Today’s announcement builds on our track record of successful partnerships in the UK, where we are already an investor in two of the world’s largest wind farms, the world’s first utility-scale floating wind park, smart battery storage, and ongoing research and development into next-generation clean technologies.”
“As one of the cornerstone investors into the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund, working alongside the UK’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority and Zouk Capital, we hope to encourage closer collaboration between government and the private sector in promoting the wider use of electric vehicles and green transport here in the UK, the United Arab Emirates, and other counties,” Al Ramahi added.
“We also aim to build on the nearly 10 years of experience we have acquired in realising sustainable mobility solutions at Masdar City, our home in Abu Dhabi.”
Matthew Vickerstaff, Deputy Chief Executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and Head of Project Finance Profession, said: “Charging infrastructure will be a crucial part of our journey to Net Zero 2050 and will require substantial investment from the private sector.
“The launch of the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund today will help accelerate the building of charging points by increasing access to private finance for companies delivering them.”
Samer Salty, Managing Partner, Zouk Capital said: “The electric vehicle market is currently one of the most dynamic and exciting growth areas to be involved in. With Zouk’s long track record in renewable and sustainable investing, we were delighted to have been selected to manage the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund and are pleased that the first close has been successfully completed.”
“In partnership with HM Treasury, the Infrastructure Projects Authority and Masdar, CIIF is an exciting platform backing this nascent sector whilst offering both strong commercial returns and support for the Government’s net zero carbon objectives.”
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has today taken another vital step in cleaning up the planet by unveiling Pound 142.9 million investment in green projects, including driving forward approaches to removing greenhouse gases from the air. Part of the second wave of the Government’s Strategic Priority Fund, the investment boost is evidence of the Government’s steadfast commitment to ensure a healthy, happy planet and population.
Five projects are benefiting from the significant cash injection, including: -Greenhouse Gas Removal Technologies (Pound 31.52m) this will support the UK in its net zero ambitions, by driving forward approaches to remove greenhouse gases from the sky on a large scale -Clean Air: Addressing the Challenge of Indoor and Outdoor Pollution (Pound 22m) the next decade will see declining transport pollution but increases in other areas like household products and adhesives. This project will look at tackling emerging air pollutants indoors and outdoors, such as air fresheners and cleaning products, to minimise their effects on public health -Cleaner food systems for healthy people and a healthy planet (Pound 47 million) this will transform UK diets to be healthier and more sustainable through changes in production, manufacturing, retail and consumption. It will deliver coherent evidence to enable concerted action from policy, business and civil society to help the UK meet its targets on obesity and greenhouse gas emissions.
– Reusing and recycling materials in innovative ways (Pound 30 million) this programme will drive forward new research to support opportunities to re-use and recycle materials across sectors such as food, water, textiles and electronics as well accelerating new, greener manufacturing technologies.
– Sustainable Management of Marine Resources (Pound 12.43m) This programme will ensure that the UK realises sustainable societal and economic benefits through better management of the UK’s marine resources, including working more closely with government, industry and the public.
Today’s announcements show the Government’s firm commitment to tackling climate change and to meeting its environmental responsibilities. As a world leader in clean growth, and the first major economy in the world to legislate to end its contribution to global warming by 2050, today’s announcements echo the UK’s commitment to being in the driving seat of the green revolution.
Source: Emirates News Agency