The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has published its vision for a renewable-powered Britain in its REA Manifesto: Growing the Renewable Economy.
REA intends for the manifesto to be used as a blueprint for the next government to secure the sector’s growth in the UK. The association notes that the next government will be responsible for meeting or missing the 2020 renewable energy targets.
According to the manifesto in order to hit the legally-binding targets, the UK must double the amount of renewable electricity, more than double the use of renewable transport fuels, and more than quadruple the use of renewable heat by 2020.
In order to realise these lofty targets, the REA has indentified six key priorities for the next government to tackle:
- Support the Climate Change Act to keep us on course to meet our carbon commitments and back global efforts to tackle climate change
- Set a new renewables target for 2030 of 30% of UK energy
- Back the Independent Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation to set a binding target for low carbon electricity by 2030
- Fund the Renewable Heat Incentive for new applications after 2016
- Boost the UK’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation to reach the 10% renewable energy target for transport by 2020
- Reform the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to ensure the market takes account of all sectors’ polluting cost of carbon emissions
“From clean power infrastructure to Zero Carbon Homes and from heat networks to sustainable transport, this is the most comprehensive guide a government could wish for if they’re seeking to maximise the value of this young, vibrant and innovative industry”, said REA Chief Executive Dr Nina Skorupska.
“Looking out to 2020, this manifesto sets out how the government can keep up the progress on renewable electricity, and accelerate the roll-out of renewable heating technologies and transport fuels. Certainty beyond 2020 is also vital to enable industry to invest in innovation, expansion, skills and supply chains.”
Tim Waterfield, head of operations at Savills Energy echoed the REA’s call for stable policy across the solar sector. He said: The REA’s call for clarity and certainty over our future energy policy is one that we welcome. Experience across the UK and wider European energy landscape clearly demonstrates that delays and policy uncertainty have a significant impact on investment.
“We are now in a situation where our energy security is finely balanced. Risk in energy supplies affects every aspect of our economy and it is clear that whoever comes to power in 2015 needs to show clear leadership to drive the evolution in our energy mix forward with confidence. This will encourage much-needed investment in our long-term energy requirements. Ultimately, energy is too critical an issue to become a political football; it is clear that change needs to happen and happen quickly in order to secure the future prosperity of our country. In order to meet the legally binding target of 15% of our energy to be met by renewables by 2020, policy certainty is crucial.”
The REA has already provided MPs with copies of the manifesto at a series of breakfast seminars. The association said that it would continue to work with trade associations to promote renewable energy in the build up to the general election.