The Labour Party has welcomed a plan from independent experts suggesting the UK should strive towards a carbon-neutral energy system by the 2030s.
The report outlines 30 transformational recommendations which it suggests should be implemented towards and beyond 2030, which aim to reduce energy waste, decarbonise heat and power and keep the system balanced to ensure security of supply.
It accepts delivering the recommendations will result in changes for every person, business and institution.
The report calls for the UK to immediately embark on a “vast expansion” of offshore wind, onshore wind and solar power – it says additional energy infrastructure should include 7,000 offshore wind turbines, 2,000 onshore wind turbines and solar panels covering an area 22,000 football pitches.
It says existing buildings across the country should be upgraded to significantly improve energy efficiency, while all new buildings should be net zero-carbon.
The study says significant investment should be directed into marine energy, renewable, low carbon, hydrogen and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) development.
It claims if these recommendations are implemented immediately, the UK could deliver a 77% reduction in energy emissions by 2030 compared to 2010 levels and “bring huge benefit to the prosperity and health of the UK”.
Labour expects the economic benefits of these actions would outweigh the economic costs, with an average required investment of 1.9% of GDP each year forecast to result in a net benefit of £800 billion across the UK by 2030.