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96% of the renewables industry apprehensive about UK targets



A survey of senior managers from some of the UK’s leading renewables firms has shown that only 4% are confident that the UK can meet its clean energy targets in time for 2020.

The Renewable Energy Association’s (REA) Renewables Industry Confidence Index looks at the current and future state of the industry, and found that only a small minority of respondents feel that the UK is in a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ position to meet its binding target to generate 15% of energy from renewables in just seven years’ time.

Sixty-eight senior managers from the transport, heat and electricity sectors responded to the survey, with 51% of those believing that the government’s new contracts for difference (CfD) would be ineffective in driving renewable energy investment. Meanwhile, 70% said the lack of a decarbonisation target in the energy bill sent out poor signals.

“The UK has to achieve a higher growth rate than any other member state to reach its 2020 renewables target”, said Gaynor Hartnell, the REA’s chief executive.

“Mixed messages remain a problem and the industry needs policy certainty and political consistency.

“The prize is up to 400,000 jobs by 2020, economic growth and greatly improved energy security.”

The REA combined data on "short-term business outlook with confidence in meeting the 2020 target and confidence" to create the Renewables Industry Confidence Index (click to enlarge).

Although the insider outlook doesn’t appear positive, the survey showed no overall deterioration in employment over the past six months. A quarter of firms expected to see jobs increase within the industry over the next year, while 62% expected employment levels to remain the same.

Hartnell said the poll will be repeated every six months in order to build up a comprehensive picture showing trends in confidence levels, adding, “Our aim is to provide government and stakeholders with a tool to gauge how policies are being received.”

Further reading:

No decarbonisation target in energy bill, but government promises investment certainty

The energy bill: industry reaction

The energy bill: it’s time to talk about ‘energy and climate security’

Renewables: the UK’s new industrial revolution

The Guide to Limitless Clean Energy 2012


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