The UK released guidelines under its low carbon transition plan yesterday on how it will endeavour to meet targets for emissions reduction by 2020.

The plan targets the power sector, government, residences, workplaces, transport and agriculture with the aim of reducing emissions by 18% on levels reached in 2008 and 34% on levels recorded in 1990.

The power sector and heavy industry, however, will have more stringent targets to meet.

The guidelines call for an increase of 30% in the use of renewable energy, four UK projects in carbon capture and storage and an increase in nuclear power stations with the aim of reducing emissions by 22% on 2008 levels alone.

A new Office for Renewable Energy Deployment will also be set up under the plan which will work on future plans for a ‘smart grid’.

Corresponding with its overall emissions targets, the government also announced a Low Carbon Industrial Strategy which included funding for a range of projects aimed at meeting the low carbon transition targets.

The Engineering and Technology Board, however, warned that the nation would have to work hard to overcome the current skills gap faced in the engineering industry. The Low Carbon Industrial Strategy aims to increase business opportunities in green and nuclear technologies.

ETB chief executive Paul Jackson says the projects on the card mean that up to 16,500 new entrants will be required in the nuclear industry alone by 2015 and 170,419 engineers will be required in the solar energy market and 84,612 in photovoltaic and 147,913 in combined heat and power.

“These announcements include some ambitious figures for reductions in carbon emissions,” Jackson said.

“In order to achieve these we will need more skilled engineers with the relevant skills and further investment in green technology.”

One project already on the cards is the UK Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, which will be headed up by Rolls-Royce.

Expected to open in 2011, the centre will bring industry and universities together to develop and share technologies and increase manufacturing capabilities.

By Penny Jones.