UK policy pushing renewables sector ‘off a cliff’, engineers warn

The renewable energy industry will “fall off a cliff” unless there is a drastic change in the UK Government’s approach. The current green policy in the country could cost jobs […]

By Priyanka Shrestha

The renewable energy industry will “fall off a cliff” unless there is a drastic change in the UK Government’s approach.

The current green policy in the country could cost jobs and growth in the sector, particularly in Scotland, warns the Civil Engineering Contracts Association (CECA).

It added the industry could face a “near collapse of ongoing work” as a result of the government’s subsidy cuts and policy changes in the last 12 months.

It estimates there is more than £300 million worth of civil engineering activity every year in the Scottish renewables industry alone, directly employing around 3,000 people and supporting 11,00 jobs.

Alasdair Reisner, CECA Chief Executive said: “The UK Government’s policy of removing support for the renewables sector is extremely disappointing as the sector had been making substantial progress towards cost efficiency during the lifetime of this Parliament.

“Policy changes to date will lead to substantial job losses within the industry and its supply chains. If those skills are lost, the challenge of rapidly reskilling the sector will be extremely costly. We call on the UK Government to reassess its approach to the renewables sector, adopt an evidence-based approach to renewables policy and recognise the role it must play in providing the diverse energy portfolio the country needs.”

The government said its priority is to provide clean and secure energy “while keeping bills as low as possible”.

A DECC spokesperson added: ” To do this, we have driven down the cost of renewables, helping new technologies stand on their own two feet while still meeting our renewable energy commitments.

“We are investing in new energy infrastructure fit for the 21st century, boosting spending on innovation and doubling support for renewable heat and electricity over the next five years.”