The Renewable Energy Association – the largest such trade body in the UK – has called on Prime Minister David Cameron to back EU plans for binding national targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Dr. Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive of the REA, said that binding national renewables targets send the clearest possible signal that there is an enduring UK market opportunity in renewable heat, power and transport fuels.
She added: “The 2020 targets have helped the UK achieve a 40% increase in the share of renewable energy between 2009 and 2012 and seen the industry grow to 110,000 jobs across the value chain in 2011/12 – we’ll be publishing updated annual figures on deployment, investment and jobs in April.
“Greenhouse gas targets alone are not enough to deliver the investment we need in green energy technologies.
“Moreover, nuclear and CCS have an inherent advantage, as these projects are developed by the established energy giants, while most renewable energy companies are independent SMEs.
“This makes it harder for renewables to compete for investment, but it also means that renewables, led by visionary entrepreneurs driving innovation in British technology, have unique potential for cost reductions. If current learning rates can be maintained, onshore wind and solar power will need lower strike prices than nuclear by the early 2020s, before any new nuclear power has actually been generated.
“Technology-neutral policy won’t deliver technology-neutral results when the dice are already loaded. For affordable green energy in the 2020s and beyond, we need a renewables-first approach to 2030, with CCS and nuclear filling in the gaps renewables can’t fill yet.
“Therefore, the Renewable Energy Association urges you to back binding 2030 renewable energy targets for individual Member States at the EU Council meetings next month.”
* The Renewable Energy Association represents renewable energy producers and promotes the use of all forms of renewable energy in the UK across power, heat, transport and renewable gas. It is the largest renewable energy trade association in the UK, with approximately 1,000 members, ranging from major multinationals to sole traders.