Sir Keir Starmer today pledged to launch a nationalised clean energy company in competition with existing suppliers and within the first year of a Labour government.
In his keynote speech at the party’s conference in Liverpool, the former Director of Public Prosecutions said a supplier provisionally titled “Great British Energy” would provide “British power to the British people”.
He used the issue of supply of low-carbon, low cost energy supply to highlight how, as Labour alleges, twelve years of Conservative-led governments have left the UK poorly prepared for this winter’s economic fallout and soaring energy bills.
“The war didn’t ban onshore wind. The war didn’t scrap home insulation. The war didn’t stall British nuclear energy. The Tories did that.”
The Labour leader attacked UK power’s reliance on foreign owners for green investment.
The country had been left with Sweden’s state-dominated generator as the largest onshore wind farm in Wales. “Energy bills in Swansea are paying for schools and hospitals in Stockholm” said Starmer, in a reference to Vattenfall’s 228MW Pen Y Cymoedd facility.
“The Chinese Communist Party has a stake in our nuclear industry”, he added, and “five million people in Britain pay their bills to an energy company owned by France”.
“The future wealth of this country is in our air, in our seas, in our skies. Britain should harness that wealth and share it with all”, he declared.
Starmer acknowledged there would be “tough battles on issues like planning and regulation” but the road to Net Zero emissions was “at the heart of modern, 21st century aspiration”.
Announcing a Green Prosperity Plan, Sir Keir laid out his vision to turn the UK into a green growth superpower, to achieve 100 per cent clean power by 2030 by doubling Britain’s onshore wind capacity, trebling solar power, quadrupling off-shore wind, and investing in tidal, hydrogen and nuclear.
“I come at this not just as leader of the Labour Party, but also as a father. As a father, I am spurred on by the voices of our children, the cry of indignation, demanding our generation act before it’s too late,” Starmer declared.
The Labour leader is pictured above, with shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves.
In March, Labour reinforced its pledge to create 400,000 green jobs, when it itemised in a range of measures its support for the Sizewell C nuclear plant, 40GW of solar this decade, and insulating 19 million UK homes by 2032, with the latter costing £6 billion every year.