UK Energy Minister Ed Davey has re-assured the UK’s renewables energy developers that it will maintain current investments incentives in a sector which has seen more than £20 billion of developments – with the potential to create or support more than 35,000 new jobs – announced for the UK.
In a keynote speech at the Renewables UK annual conference and exhibition – which continues today and tomorrow in Birmingham – he said:
“The prospects for renewable energy in the United Kingdom have never been better. This Government is putting in place the most robust and stable long-term framework for the transition to low-carbon energy this country has ever had;
“Not just aspirational targets and objectives, but a comprehensive legal, financial and political framework that provides industry and investors with the confidence, certainty and predictability needed if we are to meet the energy challenge we face.
“With a fifth of electricity generating capacity due to close this decade, we need £110bn of investment to keep the lights on.
“So, I want to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to renewable energy. As a country we have a huge amount to gain from leading the global clean, green energy revolution – tens of thousands of new jobs, economic growth, greater energy security and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions”.
The government’s 2013 Update to Renewable Energy Roadmap Update – published by Davey and his ministerial counterparts in Edinburgh, Wales and N. Ireland – shows that;
- Since 2010, £31 billion worth of private sector investment in renewable electricity has been announced with the potential to support over 35,000 jobs across the UK, and
- A 56% increase in renewable electricity generation over the past 12 months, including bioenergy up by 58%., offshore wind up by 51%, Solar PV up by 22% and onshore wind up by ‘a breath-taking’ 70%.
As of the second quarter of 2013, over 15% of the nation’s electricity came from renewables – halfway to the objective of generating around 30% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Investments announced: No. of jobs announcement has potential to support
England £16,266 million 20,895
Scotland £13,501 million 11,683
Wales £1,418 million 2,203
N. Ireland £250 million 671
Ed Davey added; ”Let me make this crystal clear: there should no doubt about the Government’s commitment to renewable energy as part of a cost effective, low-carbon, secure and diverse energy mix. And there should also be no doubt about the level of support available.
“Let me reassure you as clearly and unequivocally as I can, the current review is not about changing investment incentives for renewables, such as the Renewables Obligation, Contracts for Difference or the Feed in Tariffs scheme.
“The level of support will remain, as planned and as published. The review is looking at what I called the social green levies – Warm Homes Discount and the Energy Company Obligation.
“But, I am equally clear, this revolution must remain affordable. Renewable energy is still more expensive, megawatt for megawatt, than other conventional technologies.
“This is normal for a developing industry. Indeed, we expect it. Our policies assume it.
“But nobody – least of all the industry – should expect that subsidies will remain for one moment longer than necessary. Ultimately, renewables must reach grid parity.”