Warning over sharp fall in renewables investment

Investment in renewable energy projects is predicted to plummet by 95% over the next three years following government subsidy cuts, according to a new report.

The Green Alliance think tank analysed the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline 2016 published by the UK Government.

It found that more than £1.1 billion-worth of planned investment in renewables vanished during 2016.

It warned of further cuts to investment between now and 2020.

The think tank said: “This cliff edge needs to be avoided if the UK is to meet its world leading carbon budgets and Paris agreement pledge.”

Government blocked cheapest renewables

Dustin Benton, acting deputy director at Green Alliance, said: “Renewables 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 renewables from being built.

“Unsurprisingly, the result is a 95% fall in investment.”

High-carbon investment dipping

Analysing previous pipeline reports, the Green Alliance found that planned investment in high-carbon infrastructure rose from 13% of the total in 2012 to 24% in 2014 and then 33% at the start of 2016, before dipping to 30% by the end of 2016.

In contrast, planned investment in low-carbon infrastructure has fallen from 71% in 2012 to 61% in 2014 and then 46% at both ends of 2016.
The UK Government released two updates to the pipeline in 2016 instead of just one.

> Download the report