Final closure of British Renewables Obligation set to create ‘exodus’ of skills and investment

The renewables obligation subsidy scheme officially closes today – and runs the risk of creating an ‘exodus’ of skills and investment from the sector.

The scheme was one of the main support mechanisms for large-scale renewable electricity projects in the UK, and the head of Schneider Electric today emphasises the continued importance of renewables integration and the need for clear energy policy in the face of spiraling demand.

Tanuja Randery, Zone President UK & Ireland, Schneider Electric, explained: “With the Renewables Obligation (RO) now closes to all new generating capacity, the UK energy industry will be looking to Government for urgent clarity on the long-term view of securing the UK’s future clean energy goals. 

“Renewables have come a long way; the technology is starting to mature and onshore wind is now the cheapest form of new generation in the UK. However, this does not mean subsidies are no longer necessary. When comparing the renewables industry to the long-standing utilities sector, it is still in its infancy.

“Continued support is the only way to keep the renewables market growing and innovating to provide the cleanest mix of energy at a price best for the consumer.

“The UK has always been a leader in energy and climate change, and renewables are essential if we are to maintain that position and hit our 2050 targets.

“Subsidies and schemes such as the RO, have played an important role in helping to balance our fuel sources and make it attractive to invest in new forms of renewable energy.

“With support for new renewable generation being cut off and the lack of a clear vision, the industry is facing an exodus of skills and investment that could see a growing industry rapidly shrink.

“Energy demand is expected to double by 2050 due to urbanisation, industrialisation and digitisation. This means we need to be three times more efficient to address climate change and meet sustainability targets.

“Renewables are core to achieving this goal but investment is needed to continue their development and better connect cleaner power sources to our ageing grid.

“As demand grows, wind, water and solar sources will be crucial for keeping the lights on and safeguarding our climate in the years to come.”

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