Budget was missed opportunity, says REA


The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has expressed its disappointment that there was no mention of renewable energy or its potential to drive growth in the Budget.

REA chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said that Chancellor George Osborne should have taken more from Lord Heseltine’s report No Stone Unturned that was published last autumn and recommended that Government “set out a definitive and unambiguous energy policy, including the supporting financial regime, to give the sector the certainty to invest”.


She added: “In response to Lord Heseltine’s call, the Budget referred to the Energy Bill, but our members are sceptical that the new regime will bring forward the major investments needed. We are working with DECC to resolve this, but there are no guarantees at this stage.

“The Chancellor missed an opportunity today to ensure that there is consistent, strong support for our sector across Government.

“There is no meaningful dialogue between the Chancellor, who speaks solely of the growth opportunities of gas and nuclear, and those calling for investment in renewables.

“We welcome the renewed emphasis on infrastructure, as well as the Budget document’s statement that Government will consider making more use of independent experts. Local, smaller scale renewables are every bit as critical to modern energy infrastructure as the major projects.”

She also noted that the Budget made virtually no mention of renewable heat. The REA is concerned that the budget for renewable heat is only set to 2015, unlike the Levy Control Framework for renewable power. The REA is keen to see a budget consistent with meeting the objective of 12 per cent renewable heat by 2020, to support major expansion in this area.