The Association has urged the government to make the removal of policy blockages a priority in the upcoming Energy Security Strategy. It said the sector is prepared for a mass rollout of small, medium and large-scale projects to accelerate renewable deployment, but said items such as improving grid connections and boosting investor confidence must be at the top of the government’s agenda.
A recent study by the REA revealed nine in 10 businesses indicated they would be able to significantly increase the number of projects they could deploy in the next two years if the regulatory or policy environment was improved.
Across all responses in the study, the pipeline for deploying renewable energy and clean technology project was shown to more than double, and the number of jobs to increase by around two-thirds, providing a snapshot of what the whole industry could achieve if supported through the Energy Security Strategy.
Proposals that could provide this catalyst include:
- Introducing an emergency Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction in the next six months and then regular six-monthly CfD auctions with a clear rolling timetable, sufficient budget, and simplified CfD contracts to support smaller projects;
- Addressing transmission and distribution grid capacity constraints to allow renewable projects to connect to the grid faster;
- Moving faster to establish a hydrogen production route to market;
- Removing restrictions from the Green Gas Support Scheme;
- Initiating an industrial fuel switching tariff to enable organisations to switch away from relying on fossil gas.
“The government must be bold with their Energy Security Strategy,” said Dr Nina Skorupska, chief executive of the REA.
“This is a crucial moment – over the coming months the UK must rapidly move away from fossil fuels onto renewables, otherwise we could continue to suffer from volatile energy prices.
“If the Energy Security Strategy can tackle the fundamental issues in the system, our sector will deliver an energy system that is independent, secure, and stable.”