Onshore renewables to help UK economy in post-Covid recovery
Updated: Sep 9, 2020
The pledge made in 2019 where the UK government committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 has been cited as the catalyst for building 5.5GW of onshore renewable energy capacity annually for the next 15 years. This audacious target requires annual investment in the order of £5bn which could lead to 45,000 new jobs, pump £29bn into the economy and pass on energy bill savings of £1.5bn per year.
These figures are the headline-grabbers from Thrive Renewables’ analysis of what the net-zero carbon emissions target means for the UK. Thrive’s report, published in July, emphasises how onshore renewables can be built quicker and cheaper than nuclear and gas-fired capacity.
An underlying plea to the government to seize the opportunity to entrench green energy within the nation’s infrastructure pervades throughout the report. Thrive have been at the forefront of the renewable energy industry in the UK since 1994 and Matthew Clayton, Managing Director, highlights the need for changes to planning policies to accommodate green energy projects.
Clayton points out that the tools are already in place and by removing barriers to new onshore wind projects, “the government can unleash huge new private sector investment, create thousands of jobs and deliver a cleaner, greener UK”.
There does appear to be an appetite in Westminster and Whitehall to cut through layers of red tape in the plans to kick-start the recovery from the economic ravages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Buoyed by this, the report resonates with a palpable sense of can-do but it acknowledges that the lengthy life cycles of existing planning decisions must be urgently removed as part of “unblocking the blockers” to the roll-out of renewable and clean technologies.