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Chancellor Should Attend Clean Energy Ministerial, Says REA
26th April 2012
News that the UK is officially back in recession has come as the Clean Energy Ministerial gets underway in London.
The Renewable Energy Association's (REA) major new report 'Renewable Energy: Made in Britain', launched yesterday with Energy Minister Greg Barker, shows that the UK renewables sector grew an average of 11% from 2009-2010, with even greater growth achieved in some technologies. This compares with a national average growth rate of just 1.4% over the same period. Renewable energy is the fastest growing energy sector in the world, outstripping investment in conventional energy.
REA Chief Executive Gaynor Hartnell says, "The Treasury has been marginalising renewable energy, but evidence in the UK and from around the world shows renewable energy should be at the heart of Government's growth strategy.
"We recommend the Chancellor attends the Clean Energy Ministerial. The potential for renewable energy to stimulate much needed growth and employment is understood by the major economies attending this important event today. The UK should be taking this major economic opportunity every bit as seriously."
Data from the US Energy Information Administration shows the renewable energy sector grew 27% between 2009 and 2011 in the US. President Obama has said "the country that leads the clean energy economy is likely to lead the global economy". India enjoyed the highest global growth rates in renewables at 52% in 2011. BP said earlier this year they expect growth in renewables over 8% per annum to 2030, much higher than growth in fossil fuels.
'Renewable Energy: Made in Britain' claims the UK renewable energy industry employs around 110,000 people and turned over around £12.5 billion in 2010/11. Public investment in UK renewables in 2010 was around £1.4 billion, showing the sector is highly effective at leveraging private investment. The industry needs to grow 16% per annum and to sustain around 400,000 jobs by 2020 to meet the Government's renewable energy targets.
In a move welcomed by the REA, the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) has committed £80 million to the waste infrastructure sector ahead of Green Investment Bank loans. The investment will provide support for energy-from-waste (EfW) projects. According to the REA, the Business Secretary Vince Cable has taken a 'step' in the right direction regarding the 'opportunity to unlock substantial commercial investment in green technologies.'