Trade organisation the Renewable Energy Association (REA) today set out its vision for the UK taking leadership in clean tech technologies post Brexit. At the All-Energy 2017 event in Glasgow, the REA said that a low-cost and low-carbon energy system provides huge opportunities for the UK — but industry needs to see the ‘strong and stable’ direction that the Government are campaigning on.
REA listed the top level industry asks as:
- Recommit support for the Climate Change Act and the upcoming Carbon Budgets to give businesses the confidence to invest for the long-term
- Commit to publishing a comprehensive Clean Growth Plan by this year’s Autumn Statement which lays out clear pathways to meeting our 4th and 5th Carbon Budgets so that renewable energy and clean technology businesses and investors can have the clarity they need to build new low-carbon infrastructure
- Commit to the transposition of all EU energy and environmental regulations into UK law at the point of departure from the EU, including a meaningful price for carbon, thus ensuring alignment with the Internal Energy Market and maintaining economic stability
“All elections have themes, and as we all know, ‘strong and stable’ is the message Theresa May is taking to the country," said REA Chief Executive Dr Nina Skorupska. "For the renewables industry, strength and stability are things we crave more than any other. The past two years have seen my members rocked by policy change after policy change, and uncertainty following the Brexit vote. From renewable heat, solar, biomass, biogas, marine, we have not seen a member unaffected. But we now have to put that behind us and push forward.
“We have much to celebrate. Next week we will be publishing our annual REview, and despite the uncertainty I’m delighted that we have seen an increase in jobs in renewables, now standing at over 125,000 people working in the UK, up from 117,000 in last year’s report. Yet I know that figure could be higher if we were allowed to flourish and not held back. This is why I am delighted to launch the REA manifesto today, that we hope, if followed, will build on the progress the industry has already made.”
“Renewable solutions are now cheaper than fossil fuel scenarios, but are getting blocked to market. This is bad for consumers, who will be paying more now, as well as locked into a higher cost, higher carbon energy system for decades to come. It is bad for UK industry for the workforce too. Clean Tech means jobs for future, and the UK can still be leaders in storage and EVs, next generation solar, bioenergy and smart grids if we truly commit. The alternative is being left behind by the rest of the world and squandering our initial lead in these areas.
“Our manifesto for growth is about creating certainty and confidence, a fresh commitment to the Climate Change Act, a smooth and orderly transition from the EU; and a clear and ambitious Clean Growth Plan which we hope will show a post-Brexit Britain as a dynamic and bold country looking at the opportunities of renewables, not clinging to the industries of the past.”