• RenewableUK stresses need for continued R&D and innovation funding create to supply-chain jobs
  • Wind industry restates that £100bn investment can deliver 30GW of installed wind capacity by 2020

Meeting at their annual offshore wind conference in Liverpool recently, RenewableUK, the trade association for the UK’s wind, tidal and marine energy industries, has welcomed the overall proposals outlined in the Wigley Report Unlocking investment to deliver Britain's low carbon future. The report sets out new ideas on the funding, and remit, of a Green Investment Bank to help drive the development of the UK’s renewable energy industry and wider low carbon sector.

However, the trade body has stressed that it believes the role of any Government coordinated investment bank must operate in support of and in addition to, and not seek to direct or replace, private capital expenditure on renewable energy projects.

The wind energy industry has also stressed its belief that government-led investment could, and should, play a role in supporting R&D through such a financial institution, and in particular focus on renewable energy investment opportunities that can also lead to a manufacturing supply chain and job creation, and not simply be used for capital spending which only seeks energy production as a return.

Maria McCaffery MBE, Chief Executive of RenewableUK commented: “The wind energy industry broadly welcomes the report, released today, on proposals to develop a green investment bank to support the UK’s fast-growing renewables industry.

Government money must, however, be used to support and not replace private investment and its requirements, and at the same time be invested wisely and to maximise the opportunity for renewable energy schemes which can also deliver green manufacturing and supply chain jobs, and not just produce energy.

The Green Investment Bank should be designed to bring forward private capital - what we need isn’t just new money but smart money.”

The Wigley Report supports industry analyst estimates that fulfilling the UK’s energy requirements over the next decade will cost £200bn. Energy sector experts predict half of this investment will be spent on up to 30GW of wind by 2020, two thirds of which is likely to come from offshore wind farms, with a total of £550bn needed when additional spending on other measures such as ports and high speed rail are included.

RenewableUK’s report Offshore Wind: Building an Industry, also released today, states that deploying 20GW+ of offshore wind by 2020 should secure major new private investment with up to 22 new UK based factories creating 45,000 new British green-collar jobs.

Source: RenewableUK