News Release from RenewableUK


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Key recommendations for Government to fend off foreign competition in global race for renewables

In the run-up to the Chancellor’s Spring Budget on 15th March, RenewableUK has published a new report setting out seven key steps which the Government could take to ensure that the UK doesn’t get overtaken by other countries in the face of intense global competition to attract private investment in vital new clean energy projects.

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The report, entitled “Retaining the UK’s leadership in renewables - recalibrating policy in the midst of an energy crisis and increasing global competition” warns that as the US and EU are creating far more positive policy and regulatory environments for investors, the UK must offer its share of fiscal incentives for developers and supply chain companies, such as new capital allowances for the clean technology sector. The measures we are recommending would enable the UK to continue to attract billions in private investment in onshore and offshore wind, as well as encouraging the full commercialisation of innovative technologies such as floating wind, tidal stream and green hydrogen.

For example, as part of a $216 billion package, the US Government is providing tax credits to supply chain companies to manufacture components for wind farms which are worth $120 million for every new gigawatt of wind farm capacity. At a time when the UK is trying to maximise manufacturing opportunities in our own supply chain, we must tackle barriers to retain supply chain investment here so that we can create high-quality well paid jobs. The average wage in green industries in the UK is £42,600 a year compared to the national average of £33,400 according to the CBI. 

The report also says the Government must set a realistic overall budget and more sustainable prices for renewable electricity in this year’s upcoming auction for clean power, taking account of inflation which has significantly increased the cost of labour and raw materials. If Ministers fail to do this, there’s a risk that the UK will only unlock private investment in a very limited number of wind and solar farms in this summer’s auction for Contracts for Difference, rather than maximising our potential to secure new clean energy capacity and build up our domestic supply chains.

Other recommendations include speeding up the planning process as it can take up to five years to get approval to build an offshore wind farm after it’s been submitted into the planning system. The report also highlights the fact that onshore wind farms can be built in a just over a year, but the planning framework in England still effectively bans new any projects. Speeding up investment in new grid capacity is also vital, as some offshore wind developers are having to wait for more than 10 years to get a grid connection.

RenewableUK’s Executive Director of Policy Ana Musat said: “We’re urging the Chancellor to look carefully at the recommendations set out in this report ahead of his Spring Budget, as the renewable energy sector is facing a perfect storm this year, with inflation squeezing out already tight profit margins, and fierce international competition for investment, skills and supply chains. The US and the EU are in a race to offer incentives to clean energy investors, and the UK cannot take its leadership position for granted. A combination of fiscal measures and smart regulation will create a business environment which can boost Britain’s energy security, reduce consumers bills and tackle climate change at scale, enabling us to reach our net zero goal as fast as possible”.

Commenting on the report, the Conservative MP for Cleethorpes Martin Vickers said: “The UK has the talent and expertise to be a world leader in renewables, particularly wind power. This is an area of direct benefit to my constituents in northern Lincolnshire and the Humber which itself is a UK leader in the sector, delivering highly-skilled and well-paid jobs to local people. I welcome RenewableUK’s report which outlines how the Government can make the UK an even more attractive destination for renewable energy investment. The recommendations, if implemented in full, would turbocharge local economies up and down the country creating over 100,000 jobs in the wind industry, cheaper energy bills for households and better paid work for hardworking families”.

The full report is available here.

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