According to the EY 2020 Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI), the UK has risen one place from seventh last year to sixth in 2020. Ranking 40 countries “on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities”, EY believes that the UK’s rise is a result of the government’s decision to lift its block on new onshore wind farm subsidies.
In June last year, the government pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, making the UK the first major economy to make this pledge. This, say government climate advisors, means that onshore wind farm capacity will need to triple by 2035.
The growth of renewable energy
Renewables now provide the UK’s largest source of energy, overtaking gas-fired power to account for 38.9% of the UK’s electricity supply in 2019. Those in the industry believe that this growth will continue, with Luke Clark of RenewableUK saying, “Our sector’s plans to invest tens of billions of pounds in vital new energy infrastructure all over the country have not changed, and the government is supporting our work as it remains committed to reaching its legally-binding target of net-zero emissions”.
But has this changed as a result of Covid-19?
Recovering from Covid-19
With the economy in turmoil as a result of Covid-19, could green energy be the answer? Experts believe that this could indeed be the case. Not only is the sector already showing significant growth, but after the 2009 financial crisis, the CBI claimed that green energy contributed to a third of the UK’s 2010-11 economic growth.
Fossil fuel prices have plummeted thanks to the pandemic, and the International Energy Agency believes that the fall in energy demand caused by Covid-19 will essentially wipe out fossil fuels, leaving renewable energy as the only source that is resilient enough to withstand the crisis.
“The economic and environmental advantages of investment in a green recovery are aligned as never before”, says Scottish Power CEO, Keith Anderson. For the UK, it seems, a bright future is a green future.
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