Investment in renewables in the UK is at record levels and is comfortably outstripping investment in shale gas and other forms of fossil fuels, according to a major new report from the government this week that confirms how clean technologies are dominating the energy sector.
Presenting the government’s first report on energy investment in the UK, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey told the CBI’s annual energy conference that £45bn had been invested in the energy sector since 2010, as renewables dominated the market with an average of £7bn invested each year. Moreover, 2013 saw a renewables record set as investment neared £8bn, helping to ensure that the share of power generation from renewables has doubled since 2010 to 15 per cent.
“In four years under this coalition, we have surpassed the total electricity investment in 13 years under the last government,” Davey said. “In renewables, almost £29bn of investment since 2010 [has been] delivered. An average of £7bn a year, compared to just £3bn a year in the previous parliament. And going forward we estimate up to £50bn of further renewables investment by 2020. This all adds up to a bright future for the UK’s renewables industry – and clean, secure home-grown energy.”
Davey added that a similar surge in investment was in the pipeline for other forms of clean energy, such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and nuclear projects, with the report confirming two CCS demonstration projects are in the pipeline along with up to £46bn of investment in three nuclear projects. “While all the focus has been on EDF and Hinkley, Toshiba Westinghouse and GDF Suez have committed the first £200m of the £10bn project to develop a new nuclear power station at Moorside in the North West,” Davey said. “And Hitachi has invested over £700m to join in the UK’s nuclear new build programme, and is looking to invest £20bn across Wylfa and Oldbury to build new reactors there.”