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REA issues key policy advice to government for green recovery

Image: REA.

Image: REA.

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has issued advice to the government on the key policies needed for a green recovery.

Detailing the policies in a new report, the REA is calling on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to implement them in his forthcoming stimulus package.

The report highlights how the government needs to prioritise low carbon power and heat generation in new homes and energy efficiency retrofitting in existing homes.

The need to bring forward new renewable generation capacity and energy storage projects is also outlined, with the REA suggesting £2 billion of funding could deliver an extra 15-20GW of renewable power.

On that note, there should be increased funding to enable more regular Contracts for Difference auctions following the opening up of the scheme to include onshore wind and solar once again.

The tax system, in particular business rates and VAT, should be reformed to enable the low carbon transition. Business rates for solar were thrown into the spotlight earlier this year after supermarket Lidl revealed its business rates had soared 528% due to changes in the valuation of solar installations at its sites.

The REA is also calling on the government to launch an “ambitious” national training and re-skilling programme for oil and gas workers as well as training for a new generation of electrical apprentices.

Other recommendations for power include:

  • Investing in battery manufacturing capacity in the UK.
  • Funding Local Authorities to allow them to take local action on net zero by upgrading government buildings such as schools, offices and hospitals.

For transport, the REA recommended that the government should increase regulatory support and funding for programmes already underway to deploy public and private EV infrastructure to ensure continued investor confidence.

Existing low-carbon vehicle incentives should be maintained and future tax and regulatory questions should be clarified.

Heat was also touched upon, with the REA asking for an immediate cash injection into the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE FEI, chief executive of the REA, said: “Renewable energy and clean technology have again and again proven to be versatile, secure and economically beneficial – this needs to be acknowledged and reflected in the post-COVID economic recovery.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week outlined plans to "build back greener",however this received criticism for lacking in detail, with Skorupska stating it was "underwhelming".

"This report therefore comes at a timely moment, serving to remind the government of the enormous opportunities that renewable energy and clean technology can offer them in their bid to deliver a green recovery," she added.

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