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REA details pathway to net zero and economic recovery in new green strategy

Image: REA.

Image: REA.

A green pathway detailing measures needed to deliver net zero – focusing largely on renewables targets – has been published by the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA).

Key targets outlined in the document include ensuring that over 50% of electricity generation will be provided by renewables by the end of 2022, climbing to 100% by 2032, as well as the majority of energy demand for the heat and transport sectors being met by renewable and clean technologies by 2035.

Alongside this, the REA is suggesting a further key target of all bio-waste being able to either be separated and recycled at source of collected separately by the end of 2023.

These measures could result in 200,000 new jobs by 2035 in the renewable energy and clean technology sector. However, to enable this target to me met a number of barriers must be removed, with the REA stating that for the green industry to thrive it needs a clear route to market, a fit for purpose grid network and a wide mix of technologies.

This collection of technologies includes bioenergy, energy from waste, gasification, landfill gas, geothermal, solar PV, wind, electric vehicles (EVs), biofuels, marine and hydro. Additionally, dry and wet anaerobic digestion, composting and energy storage in all forms "will be just as important as the emerging heat pumps, Demand Side Response (DSR) and hydrogen sectors - all have a role," the REA wrote.

However, a need for a route to market was a theme that emerged through the report that cuts across the entire transition, with it being clear there is a lack of a clear pathway for most technologies across heat, power, flexibility technologies and transport fuels according to the REA.

The trade association pointed to the closure of the Renewable Heat Incentive for heat projects, “inadequate Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme for many power technologies”, as well as there being “no holistic flexibility markets” as examples of a lack of a clear route to market.

Other themes that emerged include how the sector has – and must, the REA said, continue to have – sustainability at its heart, as well as the need for the development and application of best practice guidance and standardisations across technologies.

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, chief executive of the REA, said that the government has "an opportunity to make a bold statement", pointing to how the strategy released by the association both sets out targets and "also provides the solutions to removing the barriers which could prevent those targets being met".

“Our strategy offers government the pathway to net zero and economic recovery – it is now up to them to deliver it.”

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