It’s been a little while since the Industrial Strategy was released by the Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark MP. Gavin Holvey, UK and Ireland sales manager at Priva UK comments on the investment and policy details set out by the Government, and warns against losing impetus in the drive to a lower carbon, energy efficient future.
The last couple of months have seen the release of major ‘clean’, low carbon and efficiency policy announcements; with the Clean Growth Strategy in October, the Chancellor’s Budget and finally the Industrial Strategy, announced by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in November.
Holvey said: “It is crucial that world-leading innovators within the clean energy, energy efficiency and energy management space can continue to expand and develop technology, secure in the understanding of guaranteed investment and political support from government and Parliament.
“Embedded as we are within the energy sector we have intimate knowledge and experience of the influence of government policies across our customers’ businesses. We are particularly looking forward to seeing the impact that proposed government policies and investments have, such as the support for business and industry investment in R&D; the government’s direct £725m investment in Challenge Fund programmes and the commitment to education in Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) subjects. However, we are unlikely to see return on these immediately.
“In the short term, we need to see more action on the Paris 2015 targets to lower carbon emissions and move towards cleaner growth. According to the Industrial Strategy statement, by one estimate, the UK’s clean economy could grow at four times the rate of GDP.
“We will be monitoring the government’s action focused on growing the AI and data-driven economy. The Secretary of State stated that according, to a recent study digital technologies, including AI, created a net total of 80,000 new jobs annually across a population similar to the UK. A separate study estimates that AI could add £232bn to the UK economy by 2030.
Holvey concluded: “We hope that this presages a whole system approach, incorporating the Government investment and policies outlined above; harnessed with the potential of AI and the Transforming Construction programme; taking advantage of new techniques and existing technologies to build safer, healthier and more energy efficient places to live and work.”
 Ricardo Energy and Environment for the Committee on Climate Change (2017) ‘UK business opportunities of moving to a low carbon economy’https://www.theccc.org.uk/ wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ED10039-CCC-UKBus-Opportunities-Draft-Final-Report-V7.pdf
 Mckinsey (2017), ‘Shaping the future of work in Europe’s 9 digital front-runner countries’ https://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/europe/shaping-the-future-of-work-in-europes-nine-digital-front-runner-countries
 PwC (2017), ‘Sizing the prize, PwC’s Global Artificial Intelligence Study: Exploiting the AI Revolution’ https://www.pwc.com/ gx/en/issues/data-and-analytics/publications/artificial-intelligence-study.html