The Liberal Democrats have pledged to financially support cutting-edge grid and storage technologies as part of a comprehensive clean energy plan in its manifesto.
Concluding that the Conservative government has “repeatedly cut support for green energy producers” to the detriment of the environment and British jobs, Tim Farron’s party has unveiled a number of promises to help the UK’s green economy respond.
Central to this is a target of sourcing 60% of the UK’s electricity from renewables by 2030, a target which is more specific but less ambitious than Labour’s manifesto pledge to source 60% of energy from renewables within the same time frame.
This, the manifesto document states, would see the UK support the Paris agreement, ensure the UK met its own climate commitments and regain its international lead on environmental matters.
To achive this, investment in cutting-edge technologies would be supported by the party focusing specifically on energy storage, smart grids, offshore wind and tidal power, with a “heavy” investment in research and development.
The party would also restore government support of solar PV and onshore wind – the two technologies perhaps hardest hit by the Conservative government’s cuts to renewables subsidies –as long as they were developed “in appropriate locations”.
More interconnectors would be developed to underpin a greater reliance on renewable energy.
With the Lib Dems joining both Labour and the Green Party in launching election manifestos the energy industry is now left to wait for the Conservative equivalent, which has still to be published.