Energy industry reacts to election call

Political parties have been urged to recognise the importance of renewable energy to the UK as campaigning for the General Election got underway.

The call from trade body RenewableUK came as concerns were raised that the election may delay the publication of the Government’s long-awaited Clean Growth Plan, formerly known as the emissions reduction plan.

RenewableUK Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck said political parties should support a vibrant renewable energy sector if they want to be successful in government.

“This is a sector which offers regional economic growth, and an affordable, sustainable, domestic energy supply,” she said.

“And we know that renewable energy is massively popular with voters – three-quarters of the public support renewables.

Renewable energy is a sector in which Britain can lead, and that should be recognised in the General Election campaign.”

Environmental charity Friends of the Earth added: “We want MPs to promise that they will oppose any attempts to water down the rules and regulations that have protected our green and pleasant land and enabled us to demonstrate global leadership on shared environmental problems.”

Scrap carbon floor price says think tank

Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of the EEF manufacturers’ trade body, welcomed Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to seek a “fresh and stable mandate”.

Scuoler thinks the poll “will provide greater clarity about future direction of travel for policy”.

The Centre for Policy Studies called for “radical” policies from all parties to help working families.
The think tank wants the carbon floor price to be abolished in order to lower energy bills.

CfD auction will proceed

However, UK Government’s strategy for meeting carbon budgets may not be published until after the election.

Climate Change Minister Nick Hurd said “work is well advanced” on the Clean Growth Plan but uncertainties caused by issues such as the General Election meant that a timeline for its release was not available.

But Iain Wright, Chairman of the BEIS select committee, said that any delay would have implications for the Government’s reputation on environmental issues.

He said if the plan was not published before the election it would send out a “very clear message about the priorities for this government”.

Meanwhile, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has confirmed that the current £290 million Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction won’t be affected by the election.

BEIS said: “As CfD statutory notices are now law and the auction has already begun, there will be no change to the scheduled CfD2 timings.”

> Read RenewableUK's reaction in full