According to a new study, the UK is likely to be behind the other major economies in terms of growth for the next decade.
The output of electricity from renewables and nuclear is expected to increase by an average of 2.9% per year in the UK between 2023 and 2030. This was found by Oxford Economics.
The rate of growth is the lowest among the eight largest economies in the world. India will grow at the fastest 10.6%, followed by China with 7.2 percent, the US with 6.4 percent, and Germany with 5.8%.
Energy UK, a trade group which commissioned the study, stated that the findings showed why the UK Government needed to do more in order to support the renewables industry. The “downbeat” forecast reflects “low levels expected investment in the UK”, as countries such as the US and China increase incentives for investors.
The findings were released on the same day that US President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act. This act offers $369bn in support for US climate and clean energy projects.
The UK renewables industry is worried that the huge subsidy package will leave it behind when other countries, such as China and the EU respond with similar green investments programmes.
Climate campaigners have also criticised the UK government for indicating that it is willing to reduce its green commitments before the next general elections, which must take place by January 2025.
Emma Pinchbeck is the chief executive officer of Energy UK. She said: “With increasing global competition for private investments that can choose their location, failure to respond could see us fall behind quickly and put at risk ambitious targets of increasing our own clean energy sources and decarbonising our entire economy.”
The UK is a world leader in the removal of fossil fuels in its power sector. It ranks second to France only in terms of output of low-carbon generation. Last year, the UK generated 56,2 per cent of its electricity from low carbon sources, including wind, solar and biomass.
Emily Gladstone is a senior economist with Oxford Economics, and she was one of the authors who wrote the report. She said that this explains to some degree why the UK will fall behind other economies as they catch up.
According to the study, France is expected to grow by 3.1 percent, slightly higher than the UK, while Japan will likely grow by 3.2 percent, and Italy with 5.2 percent through the end of this decade.
As a first step to its 2050 goal of net zero carbon emission, the UK government has set 2035 as a deadline for decarbonising the electricity system.
Vattenfall, a Swedish wind developer , halted last month plans for a new off-shore wind farm on England’s East Coast, citing rising costs as the reason.
Jess Ralston is the head of energy for the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, a think tank. She warned that the UK could fall behind on green investments due to a lack of “clarity” from the government.
The government stated in a press release that “we won’t apologize for moving faster and sooner on clean energy than other countries.” They added: “We have attracted approximately PS120bn of investment in renewables from 2010.” . . “Another PS100 billion in private sector investments across low-carbon sectors is expected by 2030.”