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Energy policy instability criticised by REA

View profile for Miles Dearden
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The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has criticised UK energy policy amid concerns of instability and unsustainability, after a new report found that employment in the UK’s renewables sector is slowing significantly.

A report published by the REA in recent days suggests that employment growth in the renewables sector has slowed from a rate of nine per cent per annum recorded in 2012/13 and 2013/14 to just 2.5 per cent in 2015/16.

The group’s REView report found that 125,490 jobs were recorded in the UK’s renewable power, heat and transport sector during the last financial year – with the wind and solar sectors ranking as the two largest employers in the sector, employing 41,766 and 13,687 people respectively.

The REA has blamed “a bonfire of policies” in recent years for the slowing in job growth.

Nina Skorupska, chief executive at the REA, said: “Policy instability in Westminster has slowed growth. Our member companies are helping build a system that is reliable, low-carbon and more affordable than the previous one.

“There’s fierce competition to be at the fore of these new technologies internationally,” she said.

“Government action is needed to ensure the opportunity to be leaders in technologies such as energy storage and decentralised systems does not slip between our fingers.”

Ms Skorupska acknowledged the fact that “real progress” had been made, but said that it was “frustrating” that growth could not have been greater.

Meanwhile, reacting to the REA’s report, ex-energy minister Baroness Verma has urged the Government to offer greater support to the renewables sector when it returns from Parliamentary recess later this summer.

She has said that the Government “must remain absolutely in support of the Paris Accord and show leadership on the world stage.

Baroness Verma adds that there “must be no weakening of UK resolve by our politicians and we must show that unlike others when we make a commitment we stick to it.”  

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