Shadow Energy Minister Tom Greatrex has announced that the next Labour Manifesto will include a commitment to decarbonise the UK’s electricity supply by 2030.
He also said Labour has a “relentless desire to take forward the offshore wind industry” which it will put into practice if it wins the next election in 2015.
The Shadow Minister made the announcement today at RenewableUK’s annual Offshore Wind conference in Manchester.
Tom Greatrex said: “Labour will continue to push for a 2030 target as it’s absolutely crucial to give the renewable energy sector for long term certainty. Today I can announce that that if we don't get that target set in the Energy Bill, it will be in Labour’s manifesto for the next General Election”.
And he added “Offshore wind has huge potential and can be an important part of our energy sector in the future".
The announcement was welcomed by RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Maria McCaffery, who said: “This announcement by the Shadow Energy Minister at our conference is very welcome, as it demonstrates a clear commitment to clean up the way we generate electricity as early as possible.
RenewableUK hopes that all political parties will appreciate the necessity for this, so that a cross-party consensus can be reached swiftly to set a 2030 decarbonisation target. This would send a strong signal to the wind, wave and tidal energy industries, and crucially to investors, to press ahead with projects as a matter of priority.”
Last week an attempt to introduce an amendment to the Energy Bill, setting a 2030 decarbonisation target, was narrowly defeated in the House of Commons – an attempt will be made to re-introduce the amendment in the House of Lords. The Government’s current position is that the issue should be re-examined in 2016 – after the next election.
On Wednesday, RenewableUK welcomed an announcement at the conference by the Energy Minister Michael Fallon that the Government will be forming an Offshore Wind Investment Organisation, with the aim of increasing the levels of inward investment to the offshore wind sector in the UK.
In addition to this and other announcements, Mr Fallon told delegates that he recognised the need of investors to have a stable, long-term policy framework for years to come and the importance of offshore wind to the future economy on the UK.
Michael Fallon said: “Offshore wind is a major success story for the UK, and we want to boost levels of inward investment. This will be an important part of our industrial strategy for the sector later this year, and we are creating the Offshore Wind Investment Organisation to drive that activity.”
RenewableUK Chief Executive Maria McCaffery said: “This news is a welcome boost for British industry and restates the Government’s acknowledgement that offshore wind presents a massive economic opportunity for the UK.
"The fact that this new organisation will coordinate the Government’s work with business, via a leading industry figure, is important as it further cements the positive relationship between Government and industry, as we work together to build the investment climate we need going forward.”