Energy minister Charles Hendry today said that the UK has to lead a renewables revolution and to become a global leader in the field.
“At present we are third bottom in Europe when it comes to renewables,” he told delegates at The Energy Forum in London.” Based on our resources, we have an incredible opportunity to roll out a renewables revolution.”
Mr Hendry predicted wind and biomass will present the biggest opportunities and promised the government will create marine energy parks which would be “havens for developers” and offer expertise for UK firms.
Mr Hendry said he wanted British business to have a slice of the supply chain and added “we have to learn from the mistakes of the onshore wind sector.”
The minister also said there would be a massive shake-up of the electricity market with a review taking place this Autumn which will be the biggest since deregulation.
“This will be the most fundamental review ever we’ll be looking at the price of carbon, investing in capacity and sharing demand. It’ll look at renewable obligation certificates and feed-in-tariffs to see which is best and it will look at emission performance standards which I believe will be a spur to investment.”
The review will be finished by Spring with a White Paper by 2011. The electricity review, said Mr Hendry, was just one step on the government’s commitment to provide the energy sector with a routemap for investment.
The minister also stressed that the coalition is an ally of the energy world. “I’m very optimistic and I can see this sector will be one of the few growth sectors in the UK in coming years.”
The UK needs a £200bn investment to meet its renewable targets and satisfy demand.