Senior parliamentarians from 3 of the 4 main political parties in England and Wales have agreed that political will, rather than money or technology, is holding back the UK’s renewable energy sector.
The Renewable Energy Association’s (REA) Renewable Energy Question Time event last week involved a lively debate on the future of UK energy policy. Former Energy and Climate Change Minister and Conservative MP Gregory Barker, Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrats’ Parliamentary Party Committee on Climate Change Lord Teverson and Labour MP for Southampton Test Alan Whitehead all shared their views on renewables ahead of the 2015 General Election. Baroness Jones from the Green Party in England and Wales, was also present for the event held last week.
Looking back over the last five years, Gregory Barker claimed to be positive about progress made and believed the Conservatives had particularly moved their approach to renewables and climate change forward. His fellow panelists, however, were quick to point out what they considered to be the party’s flaws.
All 4 panelists did however agree that a key priority for any future Westminster Government should be pushing the renewable energy agenda forward. As part of this, it was agreed that a greater emphasis needs to be placed upon raising awareness of the benefits of renewable energy amongst the public, ensuring the wider debate becomes much more mainstream. It was agreed that consumer understanding and buy-in are fundamental to ensuring the success of renewable energy in the UK.
REA Chief Executive Dr Nina Skorupska says, “There is great potential for renewable energy to transform the UK’s energy mix, and while we very much welcome today’s support from a cross-party panel of parliamentarians, it is clear that a lack of political will has held back the progress of the sector. However, the calls for a more bottom-up approach are unanimous.
“We understand that we need to do more as an industry to improve understanding of renewables amongst the public to increase consumer uptake, and put greater pressure on the future Government to raise the green agenda”.
Source: Renewable Energy Association