In a new report published by the government, energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey has described the UK’s low-carbon economy ambitions of being “within reach”.
The paper aims to show how the low-carbon economy has developed over the last five years and highlight further opportunities for those interested in investing in renewable power, nuclear, carbon capture and storage, as well as renewable and low-carbon heat. The report has been published ahead of the General Election in May.
In the report Davey states that when the coalition government took office in 2010 it faced an energy crisis, with infrastructure that had suffered from underinvestment and could threaten energy security. He also notes that many of Britain’s “old and polluting power stations were due to go offline” with no concrete plans in place to secure supply while meet climate change obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“The low-carbon economy that many have talked about is now within reach. There is still a long way to go and we will need to stick to the plans we have put in place. But this government can be proud of the clean, green energy system it has created,” Davey added.
Turnover in the UK’s low-carbon economic is valued at £122 billion in the report, and has been growing at an average rate of over 7% a year since 2010. Around 1.5% of the UK workforce is also now employed in low-carbon sectors, with the figure increasing at around 3.8% each year.
Davey commented, “The great thing about green energy investment and jobs is that they are not confined to London and the South East. Clean energy projects are booming in every region and country of the UK.
“And local communities really benefit from hosting green energy infrastructure. The onshore wind industry alone has paid out almost £8 million a year in community benefits on projects that have become operations since 2001. It is expected that almost £200 million will be committees to local people over the life of these projects.”
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