REA sets out green recovery strategy
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has today published a report outlining the key policies it believes are needed for the UK to achieve a successful green recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
The report, published in the same week that the government unveiled the first stage of its COVID-19 recovery package, includes policies designed to bear fruit within 12-18 months, and longer-term options taking place over 18-36 months.
These include reforming the tax system, particularly business rates and VAT, as well as low-carbon power and heat generation for new homes, and retrofitting energy efficiency measures for existing homes.
The report claims that creating low-carbon homes and reforming the tax system alone would create 176,000 new jobs, save consumers £270 on bills annually, and generate a net value to the economy of £7.5bn – a 50% increase on the £5bn pledged by the government this week.
“The prime minister has already outlined the first stage of the recovery package, which was underwhelming and lacked details” said REA chief executive Dr Nina Skorupska.
“This report therefore comes at a timely moment, serving to remind the government of the enormous opportunities that renewable energy and clean technology can offer them in their bid to deliver a green recovery.”
The paper also calls on the government to provide more funding for regular CfD auctions for clean electricity, and to fund local authorities so they can take actions locally to meet net-zero through upgrading schools, offices, hospitals and care homes and transitioning to a circular economy.
It takes a pan-technology approach, identifying cross-cutting, high-impact policies that could create sophisticated industries and supply chains “boasting thousands of highly-skilled jobs across the entire of the UK”.
“Renewable energy and clean technology have again and again proven to be versatile, secure and economically beneficial – this needs to be acknowledged and reflected in the post-Covid economic recovery,” Skorupska continued.
“It is no longer enough to support a net zero-economy in rhetoric alone, we must ensure that renewables are at the core of the recovery if we are to achieve the just and inclusive society the government has been referring to.
“As 2050 approaches, the window to meaningfully address climate change becomes smaller and smaller. We ask the government to recognise this and adopt the policies outlined in the report during the chancellor’s update next week.”
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Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM