Renewables investment will fall 95% over next three years

4th January 2017 | Commercial Energy

Renewables investment will fall off a cliff edge over the next three years. This will put the UK’s greenhouse gas reduction targets at risk, according to a thinktank. The Green Alliance found that more than £1bn of future investment in renewable energy projects disappeared during 2016. It added that investment in wind, solar and biomass power and waste-to-energy projects will decline by 95% by 2020.

While a slowdown in green energy investment had been expected after ministers cut several subsidy schemes over the last eighteen months. Green Alliance said, “This cliff edge needs to be avoided if the UK is to meet its world leading carbon budgets and Paris agreement pledge.”

Shortly after the EU referendum, the government committed to cutting carbon emissions by 57% by 2030, on 1990 levels. So far it has failed to spell out how it will support low-carbon energy such as windfarms, beyond 2020.

Renewables Investment

“Renewables investment will be cheaper than new fossil power stations by 2025 at the latest if we allow companies to build, learn and cut their costs. But the government has been holding back the final bit of support needed to make renewables subsidy free. It’s also blocked the cheapest renewable from being built,” said Dustin Benton, acting deputy director at Green Alliance. “Unsurprisingly, the result is a 95% fall in investment.”

The thinktank’s analysis found that high carbon infrastructure, which it defines as fossil fuel power stations, airports and road building, was faring little better. For the first time since 2012, high carbon investment had stopped growing, and will be down by two-thirds by 2020.

“The picture of private sector investment is very clear: it is rapidly moving away from high carbon infrastructure. In contrast, public sector high carbon investment is rising, although slowly,” the authors wrote.

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