Renewable energy companies are harbouring serious concerns about the lack of lip service that has been paid to the UK renewable industry in this year’s election campaigns, according to a survey by the Renewable Energy Association (REA).
Polling its members, 95% of respondents told the REA that they “did not feel that the political parties are addressing the needs of the renewable energy industry during this election campaign”.
With all major political parties publishing their manifestos, renewables have remained low down on the political priority list. In reaction to the parties’ 2015 manifestos, REA members viewed The Green Party as the “the best” for the renewable energy industry. Lib Dems came in second with Labour and Conservative third and fourth.
“These figures show first-hand the concern of renewable energy companies up and down the country at how the political parties are failing to adequately address the needs of our industry,” warned Dr Nina Skorupska, chief executive of the REA.
REA members felt that the feed-in tariff was the most important renewables policy (56%), with the renewable heat incentive running it close (52%). Unsurprisingly, 44% of the respondents said that a 2030 decarbonisation target was a priority.
Skorupska continued: “The next government will need to show much more leadership early on and face-up to the challenge of ensuring that the UK meets its ambitious renewables targets, which will allow our industry to play a key role if the regulatory environment enables us to expand, innovate and thrive.”
On Monday representatives of the UK’s five main political parties clashed over energy policy during a televised debate on the BBC around climate change and the environment. Despite a lack of pre-election debate over renewables, other aspects of the energy industry have generated headlines, particularly plans to extract shale gas in the UK with news emerging earlier this week that over one thousand candidates from all the main political parties have pledged to oppose fracking in their constituencies.