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2014 record year for UK’s renewable energy investment



Investment in the UK’s renewable energy set a new record in 2014 with £10.7 billion poured into the country’s sun and wind resources, according to new analysis by PwC. However, another £50 billion is needed by 2020 to meet renewables targets.

The research led by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) on behalf of the Renewable Energy Association (REA) found that solar accounted for 45% of new investment (£4.5 bn), thanks to cheaper technology, with offshore wind and solar attracted the largest share of investment.

Overall, the UK will have £50 billion invested in renewable energy by the end of 2015, since 2010.

Nevertheless, PwC warned that the same amount is needed over the next five years to deliver the government’s 2020 targets.

Ronan O’Regan director of renewables and cleantech at PwC said, “2014 has been another strong year for investment in the renewable energy sector, bringing the total investment since 2010 to £40bn. The majority of investment during 2014 was in renewable electricity generation, attracting almost £10bn of capital, with solar the big winner representing £4.5bn of investment. 

“However, reaching the 2020 targets is estimated to require a further £50bn of investment,  The sector will be looking to the new Secretary of State to provide the investor certainty through  to the end of the decade and beyond both in terms of funding and technology preferences.”

O’Regan also stressed the role of the Green Investment Bank in attracting capital in offshore wind, but added that investment  in renewable heat and low carbon transport looks far less encouraging.

If the historical investment trend continues renewable heat will miss its 2020 sub sector target, and renewable transport fuels will remain reliant on lower cost imported biofuels. It is time for a policy rethink on transport fuels if the targets are to be achieved. Otherwise even greater investment will be required in renewable electricity to make up for any shortfall”, he said.

Following the recent re-election of David Cameron as Prime Minister, the industry has urged the government not to let renewables down and provide certain policy for investors in the clean energy sector in the UK.

Photo: Patrick Finnegan via Flickr


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