Following the government’s decision to lift the block on financial support for onshore wind and solar projects, renewable energy investors are attracted to the opportunities offered by the UK.
The UK has climbed in the rankings of a biannual global survey of investors, possibly aided by research from Cornwall Insight that the country has a nearly 39GW renewable energy capacity. Britain has now taken sixth place, behind Germany, Australia, France, China and the US, in Ernst & Young’s (EY) ‘attractiveness index’ for renewable energy.
“Certainly, renewable energy is not immune to the economic disruption being wrought,” said Ben Warren, the author of EY’s report. “But many of these effects are likely to be short-term. Already, manufacturers in China and Europe are restarting production.
“Utilities have worked hard to keep generation going in difficult circumstances. And power demand will rebound as economies get back to work.”
He said investors remain confident in “the long-term picture for clean energy”.
He stated that the need to ensure greater economic resilience after the pandemic will be in favour of distributed power sources such as wind and solar, as well as the advances in battery storage.
The government had lifted the block against onshore wind projects following the pledge to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, which advisors believe will require tripling the UK’s onshore wind capacity in the next 15 years.
Luke Clark, of RenewableUK, said EY’s report is right to highlight the economic opportunity offered by renewables after the pandemic.
“Our sector’s plans to invest tens of billions of pounds in vital new energy infrastructure all over the country have not changed, and the government is supporting our work as it remains committed to reaching its legally-binding target of net-zero emissions,” he said.
“The UK’s low-carbon economy will stimulate new growth, boost productivity and support tens of thousands of jobs as we work on projects at home and secure new export opportunities around the world.”
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