UK100 coalition lobbies government for £5bn renewables investment

A coalition of UK local leaders, including Conservative majors and major energy firm Siemens, have joined forces to lobby the UK Chancellor to pledge £5 billion (€5.56 billion) towards renewable energy.

The UK 100 group says unlocking private sector investment would net a return of £100 billion (€111.2 billion) to support the UK economy, including potentially £40 billion (€44.4 billion) for energy efficiency – exceeding the promised target of £9.2 billion (€10.2 billion) in the Conservative manifesto.

A research report by UK 100, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, will be presented by UK100 and Siemens directly to the BEIS Minister Kwasi Kwarteng MP at a meeting on 13 July.

A separate study for UK100, launched as part of a resilient recovery taskforce, shows that 3.1 million jobs (approximately 1 in 10 in the UK economy) will need access to skills and training from government and industry as part of a green recovery. The call for major investment in energy efficiency follows the Chancellor’s summer economic statement and the urgent need for a national programme of home insulation.

Polly Billington, director of UK100, said: “If ministers are to meet their manifesto promise on energy efficiency in our homes, which are some of the ‘leakiest’ in Europe, they need to kick-start a renewable revolution. This would help hard-pressed consumers to save on their fuel bills, support hundreds of thousands of jobs, and protect the environment.

“£5 billion (€5.56 billion) now would unlock £100 billion (€111.2 billion) to rescue the UK economy and deliver on the Prime Minister’s ambitions of levelling up and meeting net-zero. The Chancellor’s statement, while welcome, should have had far more front-loaded investment.

“Retrofitting energy efficiency measures and clean heat technology will be a crucial part of net-zero, as homes account for 18% of emissions, primarily from natural gas use and heating and cooking. According to the UK Green Building Council, to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050, we will need to improve almost all of the UK’s 29 million homes, meaning we need to retrofit nearly two million homes every minute between now and 2050.”

“There is an urgent need to scale-up local, sustainable energy if the UK is to have any chance of meeting net-zero by 2050,” added Carl Ennis, the UK CEO of Siemens. “This requires a collective national effort with government, business, and the public all playing our part.

“Local energy should be at the heart of the National Infrastructure Strategy, creating a more consistent policy landscape that will give investors the confidence to invest earlier.”

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