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Clean power by 2030: How could a Labour government achieve its mission for power sector decarbonisation?

How Keir Starmer can knock down the 10 biggest barriers to Labour's 2030 clean power plan.

Keir Starmer visiting an energy site

If elected a Labour government will face 10 major barriers to hitting its 2030 clean power target – and needs a plan for week one, month one and its first 100 days in power to overcome them.

Should Labour be returned to power for the first time in 14 years what it says and does in its first days in government will be critical to meeting its clean power target. Keir Starmer, as prime minister, will need to immediately set out how he will deliver his commitment to ‘clean power by 2030’.

Major barriers include lack of grid capacity, stretched supply chains, shortages of skilled workers, insufficient public engagement, and a need to make the planning system work much faster if energy targets are going to be hit. This last point is key: average waits to get consent for 'nationally significant infrastructure' increased from 2.6 to 4.2 years between 2012 and 2023.

But historical successes, from the building of the 'supergrid' in the 1950s to the ‘dash for gas’ in the 1990s, show that the UK can deliver large scale projects. The next government should learn from these.

Labour's plans are ambitious. But setting ambitious targets in opposition is easy: achieving them in government is the real test.

Political party
Public figures
Keir Starmer
Institute for Government

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