Britain’s largest trade body for green energy has set out its stall, outlining its expectations of chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Statement, due in six weeks.
The finance minister spoke in the City on Friday about the nation’s pride in the renewables sector, which last year delivered 40% of UK electricity.
Hunt was seeking to portray how supposed ‘Brexit benefits’ could open the way to industrial growth, and a long-overdue cure for the nation’s poor record in economic productivity.
Representing over 500 companies trading in the supply chain for low-carbon power, the REA – full title the Association for Renewable Energy & Clean Technology – welcomed the Chancellor’s heralding of renewables as a big-growth area, and a national success story.
“The energy transition is both an economic opportunity and an environmental imperative”, said the REA’s boss, Dr Nina Skorupska, pictured.
Hunt addressed industry chiefs in the London offices of Bloomberg. The analysts had earlier reported that, for the first time last year, global clean energy investment topped $ 1 trillion. Another first saw spending on renewables exceed money pumped into planet-cooking hydrocarbons.
Dr Skorupska set her group’s sights still higher.
“While the REA echoes the Chancellor’s comments on the potential of our sector, and that 40% of electricity last year generated through renewables is indeed a national success story, the REA believes that 2023 needs to be a milestone year where renewable power exceeds 50%”, she said.
“We can go further”.
When Hunt launches his spring budget on 15 March, the lobbyists will be looking for radical moves from the Treasury, including:
- Capital allowances for renewable & clean technologies investments, providing a tax break that will encourage more private investment into the market.
- Zero-rating VAT on home batteries
- Accelerating a well-funded, more extensive scheme to insulate British homes
- Launch delayed support funds for rising energy technologies, such batteries providing current beyond two hours, for bioenergy & Carbon Capture and Storage
- Speed-release an ambitious Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate, spurring EV take-up and stripping carbon from HGVs
Fourteen leopards, a-purring
Said Skorupska: “The Chancellor’s warm words must urgently be reinforced by policy. A continued lack of certainty has risked sending the wrong signals to low carbon investors.
The REA stressed that growth in its sector is not guaranteed to continue without commitment from government, see went on. The Spring Statement must be used to ensure an attractive market for global green investment in the UK.
“We now welcome the opportunity to continue working closely with Government on our members’ behalf to further explore the potential of our sector”, the REA chief observed.