Investing in green energy
This article first appeared in Liberal Democrat Voice.
Today I published the Government’s first ever ‘Energy Investment Report’. It shows how Liberal Democrats in Government have delivered on jobs and investment in energy – particularly green energy – and shows the plan we now have for this to continue for decades to come.
Let me be clear – investment in the energy sector has not been a ‘nice to have’. We inherited a legacy of energy underinvestment from Labour and we’ve spent the last four years turning this around. The sheer scale of the investment has already been huge: between 2010 and 2013 we’ve secured £45 billion of investment in electricity generation and networks alone. The UK’s future energy infrastructure investment is larger than transport, communications and water spending combined.
While I’m sure you’ll be interested in reading every word of the entire report, you may want to start with what we’ve achieved on renewable electricity.
A few facts:
Since 2010, an average £7 billion a year has been invested in renewable energy. This compares to £3 billion a year in the previous parliament.
Electricity generation from renewable sources has doubled since 2010 and now supplies 15% of the UK’s electricity.
Earlier this year, eight renewable energy projects got contracts providing up to £12 billion of private sector investment and up to 8,000 jobs
The UK is the world leader in offshore wind and we have more than any other country. This supports up to 18,000 jobs. By 2020 we could see offshore wind powering almost 7 million homes.
Onshore wind has attracted £7.6 billion of investment between 2010 and 2013 and supports 17,000 jobs.
Solar PV attracted £6.4 billion of private investment between 2010 and 2013.
While these facts speak for themselves, we can’t be complacent. We’ve put in place the necessary reforms and now Ernst & Young rank the UK as one of the best places in the world for renewables investment. But we know that there are threats from the right, particularly on onshore wind, and from the Labour Party with their energy price freeze policy. Their policy not only threatens the competition to the Big 6 that we’ve encouraged, but also investors who currently see the UK as a great place to invest.
Be in no doubt. The Liberal Democrats have the strongest green energy record of any political party and Britain is now on track to beat our renewable electricity targets for 2020.
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