Green energy to attract £64bn to UK by 2020

The UK’s growing green energy sector could attract £64.4 billion to the UK by 2020, doubling the amount it has pulled into the country since 2010. That’s according to figures […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The UK’s growing green energy sector could attract £64.4 billion to the UK by 2020, doubling the amount it has pulled into the country since 2010.

That’s according to figures by PwC published today by the Renewable Energy Association in its “REview – Renewable Energy View: 2014” paper.

Renewable electricity generation has grown steadily, increasing on average by a fifth (20.3%) every year between 2009 and 2013.

As for jobs, 103,000 people were employed in 2012-13 across the UK renewable energy value chain, according to analysis by Innovas.

REA Chief Executive Dr Nina Skorupska said: “The Government’s renewable electricity policies have incentivised nearly £28 billion of private investment since 2010… This is a tremendous success story.”

The bundle of figures should make satisfying reading for the renewable energy sector but there’s a warning too.

Dr Skorupska said: “Drastic Feed-in Tariff cuts in 2011-12 led to widespread job losses in the solar industry and the continued policy uncertainty for renewable transport has seen employment and investment opportunities in UK refineries go begging.”

Outstanding doubts around EU’s state aid rules for green energy subsidy and the contracts for difference need to be ironed out, she added.

Heat also needs a boost, said Ronan O’Regan, Head of Renewable Energy at PwC: “With recent historical investment dominated by renewable electricity, investment in renewable heat has been modest in comparison and this market requires a rapid scale up in investment levels if we are to achieve our overall 2020 renewable energy targets.”