RenewableUK Publishes Manifesto ahead of UK's 2015 General Election

RenewableUK, the trade body for the wind and marine energy industries, has issued its Manifesto ahead of the 2015 General Election in United Kingdom.

RenewableUK Publishes Manifesto ahead of UK's 2015 General Election

The document, which lays out its policy asks from the next Government, was launched at the association's annual Parliamentary Reception in Westminster on 25th June.

The manifesto outlines the contribution that wind, wave and tidal power can make to security of supply, energy bill stability, UK economic growth and climate change objectives, as well as policy actions needed from Government. In the document, the onshore wind industry pledges to be the cheapest form of new generation by 2020, subject to the right policy framework.

A taskforce has been set up by RenewableUK to identify the steps needed to ensure this goal is achieved. It is expected to report by the end of 2014. The manifesto also reaffirms the offshore wind industry's commitment to reaching £100 a megawatt hour for projects reaching financial close in 2020.

Commenting on the cost reduction task force, Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive of RenewableUK, said: “The onshore wind industry is committed to driving down costs. With the right leadership from the next Government, we’re confident that we can do this, so come 2020 onshore wind will be cheaper than new nuclear, gas, and all other renewables.

Many ageing fossil fuel-based power stations are going to close over the next decade, so we need to invest in new capacity. Onshore wind is a good choice in helping us cut costs and cut carbon. We hope the political parties will take on board this exciting opportunity, and work with us to help it come to fruition. The Committee on Climate Change has said we need to more than treble the amount of onshore wind we have today by 2030, and that means investment in the next Parliament”.

As well as the cost reduction pledge, the manifesto highlights what the industry needs from the next Government with the overwhelming ask for a long term trajectory beyond 2020.

Ms McCaffery said: “Across all the objectives we looked at – security of energy supply, cost-reduction, economic growth, job creation and action on climate change, there was a clear conclusion that emerged – there needs to be some form of 2030 target, in terms of deployment or decarbonisation.

Without a clear long term objective, it will be very difficult to build the generating capacity that the UK’s homes, businesses and factories will require. With certainty only in place until 2020, we won't see the scale of investment we need to cut costs, tackle our energy import dependency, create tens of thousands of jobs and arrest climate disruption unless this is addressed. We urge each party to consider this when writing their own manifestos and commit to some form of 2030 target.”

Press release, June 26, 2014; Image: flickr