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Renewables Industry Applauds Goldsmith vision for a Sustainable Energy Revolution
Submitted: 13 September 2007
The renewable energy industry warmly welcomed many of the new ideas in today’s Tory's Quality of Life Report on Energy.
“Zac Goldsmith and John Gummer show a real understanding that industry needs strong, clear long-term regulation so that it can invest in the major changes required”,

said Philip Wolfe, Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association.

“We should be at the top of the European renewables league table given our exceptional wind, wave and tidal resource, economic wealth and academic expertise. Unfortunately we're one from the bottom. Not only is this a serious failure of leadership but it's bad news for British business - the EU renewables industry has a turnover of 20billion Euros and employs 300,000 people. It’s about time politicians started taking the economic opportunity seriously.”

The Renewable Energy industry is growing steadily, but is still way behind the trajectory needed and it has not been helped by developments this year, in particular; >br>• revelations that the UK government was being advised by civil servants to undermine the new EU 2020 target of 20%
• the new threat to U-turn on the 'Merton Rule' which provides critical support to small scale renewables and the poor management of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme

The UK delivers less than 2% of its total energy from renewables, compared to an EU average of 7%. The Energy White Paper says current policies will deliver just 5% renewables by 2020 demonstrating the poverty of UK ambition. Other EU countries, like Denmark, have increased their contribution of renewables to total energy by 8% in a decade and Germany is starting to pursue a similar acceleration; demonstrating that fast progress is entirely possible under the right policy framework.

Philip Wolfe said,

"UK industry urgently needs a stronger policy framework to drag us up from the bottom of the EU renewables league table. Goldsmith is right to recognise that climate leadership means doing things very differently in the energy industry and his measures offer a flavour of the quantum leap required. We support bold proposals like a feed-in tariff for emergent and on-site renewables, but would retain the Renewables Obligation for wind power and other established technologies. We also welcome the recognition of renewable heat, the need for an Energy Department and reform of the regulator to meet 21st century challenges. Climate change demands real world action and we are simply not seeing anything like enough of that in support of British Renewables. We look forward to working with the Conservative Party, as it refines these proposals."

Many exceptional UK renewables companies have excelled despite the poverty of support (see examples of Best of British Renewables Companies in press release below). The uninspiring domestic market for renewables, however, means that many have had to take their business overseas.


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Renewables Industry Applauds Goldsmith vision for a Sustainable Energy Revolution
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