UK's Labour Party Proposes Nationalizing All New Offshore Wind

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By The Maritime Executive 09-25-2019 04:45:21

The UK's Labour party has released a plan to build 37 new offshore wind farms under a public-private ownership structure, with the government retaining a 51 percent stake. 

Rebecca Long-Bailey MEP, the shadow secretary for business, energy and industrial strategy, unveiled the plan on Tuesday as part of a British "Green Industrial Revolution" package. 

"We will deliver a seven-fold increase in offshore turbines in twelve years. But we can’t rely on the market to act fast enough," she said. "So ‘the people’ will take a majority stake in all new offshore wind farms and Our National Transformation Fund will allocate [$7.7 billion] to jumpstarting a home-grown renewable industry."

The program assumes a net profit on public investment, with 20 percent of this profit set aside for a ‘People’s Power Fund’ to invest in coastal communities. 

The Conservative party objected to Labour's estimates of the cost, and it warned that nationalization risked damaging the prospects of further private investment. "It is by working with business that we've ensured offshore wind will provide more than a third of our electricity by 2030, tripling the number jobs in the industry and keeping bills low for consumers," said current business secretary Andrea Leads. 

Broad goals

Labour's "Green Industrial Revolution" proposal has sweeping implications for British manufacturing and transportation. It includes over two million interest-free loans for the purchase of private vehicles; full electrification of the government vehicle fleet by 2025; $4.5 billion for public charging stations; $3.7 billion in equity for British carmakers who go electric, plus tax exemptions; $600 million for zero-emissions car R&D; and $2.2 billion in investment in three new battery plants.

This giant policy package is aimed at achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 - fully 20 years sooner than the plan proposed by the Conservatives, who also support transition to a net-zero carbon economy.