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Renewable Energy

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 14th January 2020.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Labour, Hornsey and Wood Green

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what additional steps her Department has taken to increase the supply of renewable energy production.

Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Holding answer received on 13 January 2020

This Government is committed to meeting net zero by 2050, and in 2019, the Government became the first major economy in the world to have legislated for a net zero target to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from across the UK economy by 2050. We agree with the Committee on Climate Change’s view on the importance of a diverse mix of power generation sources to achieve that with renewables providing the majority of our electricity by 2050 alongside firm low carbon power from sources such as nuclear, and gas or biomass generation with carbon capture and storage.

The Government has introduced many initiatives to increase the supply of renewable energy production in the UK and with this support, carbon emissions have reduced by 42%, while the economy has grown by 73% since 1990. We have also seen rapid deployment of solar PV over the last 8 years, with over 99% of the UK’s solar PV capacity deployed since May 2010 and half of the world’s offshore wind deploying in the UK. We have committed up to £557m of annual support for future Contracts for Difference, providing developers with the confidence they need to invest in bringing forward new projects and we are supporting our world-leading offshore wind industry through the 2019 sector deal.

In order to support smaller scale renewable electricity generation, the Government introduced the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) on 1 January, which gives small scale low-carbon electricity generators, such as homes with solar panels, the right to be paid for the renewable electricity they export to the grid. Unlike the previous Feed-in Tariff scheme, the SEG is a market-driven mechanism. It paves the way to projects being deployed without subsidies.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) supports the transition to low-carbon heating in the UK, helping generate renewable heat for schools, hospitals and more than 12,000 social housing properties. The scheme is designed to bridge the gap between the cost of fossil fuel heat sources and renewable heat alternatives through financial support for owners of participating installations. The RHI helps to sustain and build the supply-chains needed to deliver our aspirations for renewable heat in 2020 and beyond

We are working to develop a new policy framework for the long-term decarbonisation of heat. We have committed to publishing a policy roadmap in summer 2020. This will set out the programme of work required to enable key strategic decisions in the first half of 2020 on how we achieve mass transition to low carbon heating.

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