Energy research spending to double

Spending on energy research is to be doubled, including £250m for a nuclear research programme, and a new Shale Wealth Fund worth up to £1bn created for communities affected by the fracking industry. George Osborne made the announcement as part of his Autumn Statement, along with plans for support for low carbon electricity and renewables to more than double. The government aims to double spending on energy innovation, to boost energy security and bring down the costs of decarbonisation. This includes an investment of at least £250m over the next five years in a nuclear R&D programme designed to 'revive the UK's nuclear expertise and position the UK as a global leader in innovative nuclear technologies'. Along with the proposed Shale Wealth Fund, the Oil and Gas Authority will get additional powers to scrutinise companies' offshore decommissioning plans and take action to ensure they represent value for money. An exception will be granted for 'energy intensive industries', including the steel and chemicals industries, from the policy costs of the Renewables Obligation and Feed-in Tariff. Funding for the Renewable Heat Incentive will increase to £1.15bn by 2020-21 with the aim of incentivising enough additional renewable heat to warm the equivalent of over 500,000 homes.


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