The latest delays to confirming the changes to subsidies issued through the Renewables Obligation scheme will do little to boost confidence among the renewable technologies industry.
The lack of an announcement from DECC, expected before the summer recess, and disagreement between the climate change department and the Treasury says more about the reluctance of the Chancellor to embrace the environmental goods and services sector and the potential it can bring to an ailing economy.
The inaction will cause further delays to projects and continue to undermine confidence for businesses considering investing in the UK. At a time like this we should be encouraging a diverse economy, one that includes manufacturing and service provision that can generate a variety of skilled jobs around the country. An economy that doesn’t rely so heavily on the financial services sector – look where that got us.
There are calls for larger cuts to subsidies for onshore wind farms
The delay has generated much criticism, particularly from the CBI, which last week published a report stating how green business was ‘not just complementary to growth but a vital driver of it’. The Colour of Growth: Maximising the potential of green business report makes the case for tackling the challenges of energy security, affordability and climate change. By doing so has the potential to drive significant business investment, creating many new jobs in the process.
By not doing anything the UK risks losing almost £0.4 billion in net exports in 2014/15, according to the report. But developing a coherent strategy could result in boosting the economy by £20b and improve our trade balance by £0.8b in 2014/15.
The UK Government needs to start thinking like a business, adopting a more holistic approach across all parts of the economy, fully integrating a green ethos into its planning. This calls for strong leadership developing a coherent strategy to end policy uncertainty and improve confidence.
Can the men in charge really not see the opportunities being missed here?