REA makes a statement saying 2021 is to be a Turning Point for the renewable energy sector.
Although the UK government has made historic climate promises in the past year, delivery on
them has been rather slow. New climate strategies have been shaky in uncertainty and those
that have emerged have too often not been unsuccessful. According to new research from the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), the UK will not meet its net-zero targets without any additional investment and policy support. Every month of inaction will make it harder for the UK to get on track as it will lose on time.
The REA noted in its yearly state of the industry report, REview21, that despite the renewable
energy and clean technology sector continuing to be buoyant, it was being stifled by a lack of
consistency, proactivity, and more than anything, long-term support from the government.
Dr. Nina Skorupska CBE, CEO of the REA, said:
The same trend goes for employment. Again, we have seen decent progress, with nearly
140,000 people now being employed by the renewable energy and cleantech industry and we
believe that nearly 200,000 new jobs in the field could be created by 2035.
She believes that the number of new jobs created in this industry could be even greater if the
government supports & backs the renewables industry properly and puts it at the heart of the
UK’s economic recovery. Also, She cautioned, however, that these job projections are not
She went on to say:
If the sector continues to receive inconsistent patchy and short-term support from the
government then we could fall well short of our sector’s, and, indeed, the country’s economic growth potential. We need these new jobs to be fairly distributed across every region and even the country that makes up the United Kingdom too.
The Prime Minister’s great Ten-Point Plan for a green industrial revolution was an important and strong initiative but it has yet to be backed with robust policies. So far there hasn’t been any real engagement with the public as to what further changes lie ahead.
It is now critical that the new strategy is published before the COP26 climate summit which is
due to be held in Glasgow, with clear policy plans that are firmly backed by the Treasury. Most
Importantly, though, the new strategy must be accompanied by a commitment to get the country all ready for the serious climate risks facing the UK, just as the next phase of adaptation planning starts.
According to the UK government statistics, renewables provided a record 43% of the UK’s
electricity last year, up from 37% in 2019.
Fossil fuel generation went down and fell to a record low in 2020, providing 37.7% of electricity. Gas produced 35.7% while coal fell to just 1.8%.
The pace of potential growth in new renewable capacity was also thought to be slowing down
with just 1GW added in 2020 which was the lowest since back in 2007. However, the UK’s solar sector appears to be picking up again which is a big relief.