RenewableUK Sets Out Manifesto for ‘Strong’ Clean Energy Sector and ‘Stable’ Policy

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RenewableUK has become the latest green trade body to set out its manifesto wish-list ahead of the anticipated launch of the main party’s election manifestos next week.

The group, which represents over 400 businesses from the wind and marine energy sectors, yesterday published a short report entitled Powering Britain that sets out a series of measures designed to create a “strong energy future”.

It echoes calls from trade body Energy UK and groups across the renewables industry for the government to provide a route to market for the cheapest forms of clean energy, such as onshore wind farms.

It says the next government should “keep consumer energy bills down by investing in domestic, affordable, low carbon power”, adding that new onshore wind is the cheapest technology “bar none”, while offshore wind is set to be cheaper than nuclear power in the near future.

The report also argues the next government should set a “long term, low carbon vision for energy system” and build a “modern, flexible, and smart energy infrastructure which matches the needs of 21st century consumers, British industry and the UK economy”.

Finally, it argues the next government should deliver a Brexit deal that secures the economic and export opportunities associated with the UK’s growing renewable energy supply chain.

Emma Pinchbeck, executive director at RenewableUK, said the next government has “a clear opportunity to ensure that the renewable energy sector can continue to grow and deliver even cheaper electricity to UK homes and businesses”.

“The first steps to achieving this include confirming existing investment commitments, and ensuring a competitive process is in place to secure cheap new generation,” she added. “We need a transparent procurement system which is fair to all technologies. As we look to leaving the European Union, the next government can show leadership by bringing forward a plan to deliver the UK’s climate commitments and maintaining a robust carbon price floor.

“Stable policy will allow industry to keep delivering. Government should be at the heart of building our strong energy future.”

Industry insiders are expecting the mainfestos from the main political parties to provide relatively little new clean energy policy thinking or commitments, with the focus likely to be on the Conservative’s promise of a price cap and Labour and the Lib Dem’s longer term decarbonisation goals.

However, developers and investors are optimistic that any manifesto that reiterates the next government’s commitment to decarbonisation and fails to rule out any technologies could pave the way for the new government to deliver an ambitious long term emission reduction plan, provide policy and funding clarity to mobilise new energy infrastructure investment over the next parliament, and leave the door open for new cost effective onshore wind and solar projects.