A MULTI-MILLION-pound programme aimed to kickstart "green recovery" has been announced by an energy network.

UK Power Networks is investing up to £80m to supercharge projects that contribute towards the UK’s commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The company, that keeps the lights on for more than 18 million people across London, the East and South East of England, is inviting bids from "shovel ready" projects.

The programme will support low carbon energy projects that require a high or low voltage electricity connection to its networks in the next two years.

Sul Alli, director of strategy and customer service at UK Power Networks said: “Electricity networks are the front line of enabling net zero.

"That’s why we’ve taken this decision to make a significant investment to kickstart the green recovery and help get projects that are going to make a real, tangible difference to people’s lives off the drawing board and into development.

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“The clock is ticking – in less than a decade there will be 36 times as many electric vehicles connected to our network as there is now, and that’s why we have to take action now.

"Electricity networks have a vital public role to play in enabling the net zero revolution, and it’s a role we are 10 per cent committed to.”

In November, the government announced a 10 point plan to kickstart the "green recovery" and enable the country to reach its target for net zero.

To be successful, projects will need to demonstrate how they meet both the government’s net zero objective and the 10 point plan.

The programme will support successful bidders who can demonstrate their project helps enable the low carbon transition.

They will also be assessed to understand their contribution towards improving air quality, creating jobs and alleviating fuel poverty.

Successful applicants will still need to apply for an electricity connection in order to use this increased capacity.