Industry urges new government to prioritise renewable energy

Renewable energy industry groups have called on Theresa May’s new minority government to prioritise low carbon generation and policy stability in the wake of the General Election result.

Hugh McNeal, Chief Executive at trade body RenewableUK, said: “To maintain our world-beating offshore, onshore and wave and tidal sectors, we urge Government to ensure a stable policy framework.

“All the main political parties recognise the urgent need to provide clean, affordable power for UK consumers. 79% of the British public support renewables - people of all political persuasions - especially young voters,” he added.

McNeal’s call was echoed by his counterpart at the Renewable Energy Association (REA), Nina Skorupska, who said: “In uncertain times, one thing all the main parties agree on is meeting our carbon budgets, the need for jobs, and cheaper bills.

“The renewable and clean tech industry has been waiting for nearly a year for the release of the Clean Growth Plan and it’s now critical for us that we have a clear commitment and direction, no matter what shade of government.”

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of industry association Energy UK, added: “We stand ready to deliver the infrastructure and investment required to ensure our energy needs are delivered at the lowest cost to consumers as we continue building an exciting low carbon industry for the country.”

Returning energy ministers

Conservation Business & Energy Secretary Greg Clark retained his Turnbridge Wells seat, although his majority was cut by more than 6,000 votes.

Energy Ministers Nick Hurd and Jesse Norman also held their seats.

Former Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary Sir Ed Davey will return to Westminster after winning the Kingston & Surbiton seat from the Conservatives.

Sir Vince Cable, the former Lib Dem Business Secretary, is also on his way back to the green benches after retaking the Twickenham seat he lost two years ago.

Environmentalists’ dismay

Environmental groups expressed dismay at the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) being used to prop-up the Conservative’s minority administration.

James Orr, Director of Friends of the Earth, warned: “Northern Ireland is the dirty corner of the UK with some of the biggest illegal waste sites and mines in Europe. The pro-fracking DUP is a climate pariah.”

Greenpeace UK Executive Director John Sauven added: “The Conservative manifesto promised global leadership on climate and a healthier environment for the next generation.

“Since these goals are shared by nearly all other parties, this is something the government can and must deliver on.”

> Read Greenpeace's reaction in full