The biggest threat to the UK’s clean energy sector is a lack of certainty and clarity over government policy Rob Gross, director at Imperial College London’s centre for energy policy, has said.
Gross said there was a lack of clarity “over what they [the government] want people to do”, adding that the lack of clarity was “erasing investment in everything”. “With more clarity, you would get more investment,” Gross added.
Gross’ sentiments echo claims made from various quarters in recent months. Big Four consultancy firm EY dropped the UK outside the top 10 of its Renewable Energy Country Attractive Index for the first time in 12 years last month, and Committee on Climate Change chairman Lord Deben referenced the lack of certainty in a letter to energy secretary Amber Rudd calling for policy gaps to be addressed as soon as possible.
Gross also said that the uncertainty was not limited to electricity, and that gas and heating was suffering from the same lack of clarity. There remains considerable doubt over the future of the renewable heat incentive, with the RHI programme said to be in the crosshairs for spending cuts as part of this autumn’s spending review.
Amber Rudd’s Department of Energy and Climate Change has been criticised for creating policy gaps by curtailing clean energy support frameworks with little to no readily available replacements, despite her repeated assertions that more information would be forthcoming this autumn.
Yesterday Rudd addressed the Conservative Party Conference to discuss energy policy and while she offered no clarification on future policies, she did claim the UK could become a “home for energy innovation” as her department carries out a “root and branch review” of the UK’s policy framework.