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UK Ofgem unveils a €28bn green investment plan for 2021-2026

The UK Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) has released a £25bn (€27.9bn) green investment plan for 2021-2026, which seeks to improve the country’s gas and electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure and to deliver emissions-free green energy. The plan proposes to halve the rate of return for network companies to 3.95% (down from the current 7-8%), allowing income from consumer bills to help pay for improvements instead, and to cut more than £8bn from company spending plans by setting more ambitious efficiency targets and blocking costs that firms have not justified as delivering value for consumers. The regulator aims at saving £3.3bn (€3.7bn) in company expenditure from being passed on to customers between 2021 and 2026.

In addition, the UK government has unveiled a £2bn (€2.2bn) grant scheme in England for projects such as insulation as part of a wider £3bn (€3.3bn) plan to reduce GHG emissions. Under the Green Homes Grant, the government will fund at least two-thirds of the cost of home improvements that save energy.

In June 2019, the United Kingdom adopted a law requiring to bring all GHG emissions to net-zero by 2050. This means that the UK will continue to cut its GHG emissions and that residual emissions will have to be balanced by schemes to offset an equivalent amount of GHG, such as planting trees or using technology like carbon capture and storage (CCS).