Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Call for government to support renewables

Juliet Davenport

 

Three quarters of Britons want the government to do more to support the renewable energy sector, according to a survey published this week by green energy supplier Good Energy.

According to the survey of 2,000 adults commissioned by the Chippenham-based firm, more than two-thirds (68 percent) believe government should be responsible for tackling the climate emergency and accelerating the transition towards the UK’s net-zero carbon 2050 commitment.

The research also found significant support for UK renewable energy generation, with two thirds (66 percent) saying they don’t think we should import energy from abroad, from countries like Russia, and even more (68 percent) stating that they would switch to a 100 percent renewable energy provider if it supported more clean generation in the UK.

With the exception of UKIP, which is demanding a withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, all political parties have made commitments to climate action in their manifestos.

But Good Energy has identified a list of key policy priorities it says could unlock potential rapidly, and ensure that investment works in the best way possible.

They include a complete review of the UK’s energy and climate research institutions, a call for more open data, a decarbonising mandate for the regulator Ofgem and new protections for consumers looking to be part of the solutions to climate through their energy choices. The policy recommendations have been shared via a letter with each political party.

Good Energy founder Juliet Davenport said: "We are facing a climate emergency and government has to lead the way. Whoever wins on December 12, accelerating the transition to a carbon-free society has to be the top priority.

“We have seen huge commitments in spending from several of the parties. It is fantastic that climate has a record number of mentions in the party manifestos.

"But our policy priorities outline a list of relatively easy things to do which will transform our research and regulation, and empower consumers to be part of the solution.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to lead the country to take action against the crisis and we have to do that with everyone on board. We can still avoid climate breakdown if we are bold and act now.”

Good Energy’s policy priorities include:

          Encouraging Research and Innovation

  • Conduct a thorough review of our research institutions and ensure that they are all fit for purpose and aligned towards making the progress we need to achieve net-zero.
  • Make energy systems data available to innovators to allow for real disruption and challenge, and ultimately drive down costs for the consumer.
  • Harness the existing resources of larger industry players to engender more support for disruptors and innovators in the energy space.

    Better Regulation
  • Provide Ofgem with a mandate to facilitate decarbonisation, enacting the recommendations of the National Infrastructure Commission.
  • Reverse the hostile policy environment which is preventing increased deployment of renewables, storage and flexibility technologies.

    Protecting and Empowering Consumers
  • Power individuals to be part of the solution. Raise standards for housing, and build energy efficient homes, equipped with solar PV and electric vehicle charge points
  • Protect consumers by reforming Fuel Mix Disclosure rules and require that renewable energy certificates (REGOs) should be traded only with the power they relate to.
  • Unlock the potential of smart meters and allow suppliers to provide consumers with better ways to engage with their energy, lower their bills, and expedite the transition to a flexible energy system.