Government commits to attract record levels of investment in renewables in King’s Speech – but Chancellor must set out new policies to deliver this in Autumn Statement.
Responding to the measures relating to the energy sector outlined in the King’s Speech, RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Dan McGrail said:
“We welcome the Government’s commitment in the King’s Speech to attract record levels of investment in renewable energy and to speed up grid connections to reach net zero. But to achieve this, we’re asking the Chancellor to set out specific policies in his Autumn Statement later this month.
“The UK’s energy security and net zero goals can only be met if we have offshore wind as the backbone of our energy system. To make up for the ground lost in this year’s CfD auction, we’re urging Mr Hunt to help the UK to regain its position as the most attractive place to invest in offshore wind, despite fierce competition from the US and the EU.
“We’re calling for a commitment by the Chancellor to work with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero to set an overall budget, and maximum strike prices, at appropriate and sustainable levels which allow for a return on investment for vital new projects.
“We also need to see a change in the rules on capital allowances, so that offshore wind projects qualify for the main rate of 18%, rather than the lower rate of 6% which developers get at present.
“We are asking the Chancellor to remove the Electricity Generator Levy from offshore wind projects which choose to sell their power directly on the open market before taking up their CfD. This option is vital for projects to break even in adverse economic conditions.
“We’re also calling for measures to attract further investment in the UK’s offshore wind supply chain and port infrastructure. There’s a global shortage of offshore wind products and services, so we have a great opportunity not only to build up our domestic market but also to export worldwide”.
“There is huge public support for this. Polling shows an overwhelming majority of voters believe that the growth of green industries is important for Britain’s economy, especially among voters who are planning to switch from Conservative to Labour at the next election. A significant proportion of voters believe the Conservative Party has been less focused on unlocking investment in renewable energy than on oil and gas in the last six months, and most of these voters have a less favourable view of the Conservatives as a result”.
For further information, please contact: Robert Norris, RUK Communications 07969 229 913, Robert.Norris@RenewableUK.com