Central role of Wind and Solar in Climate Mitigation Puts Pressure on UK Energy Policy
The IPCC report published today shows the heavy lifting for climate change mitigation will be done by renewables for all 1.5C pathways. Under 1.5C pathways the bulk of the necessary investment will be in renewables, ‘particularly solar and wind power’, with estimates of annual investment requirements of $0.09-$1 trillion for solar alone, depending on mitigation strategies and policy choices. The study cites diverse research in addition to IPCC modelled pathways but underlines the common robust trend of both renewables investment and in the electrification of energy which will require more wind and solar to meet heating and transport needs. Investments for networks and storage therefore also need to scale up to $0.3 – $1.3 trillion per annum.
STA’s Chief Executive Chris Hewett said, “The IPCC report today amplifies already very widespread calls for the UK Government to get behind low-cost solar and wind. The message couldn’t be clearer; time is running out. Our industry stands ready to roll out solutions which are extremely popular with the public, and no longer require subsidy, but Government has put too many barriers in the way. Let’s be clear, a smart, flexible, renewables pathway is now the cheapest pathway. All we need to deliver that is fair tax treatment, fair market access and level playing fields. We’ve been repeating this message for years – action is now needed.”
The report also warns against ‘a lack of regulatory or policy commitment’ which fails to stimulate low-carbon investment, a situation which is now clear for solar power in the UK. The report states current country NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) will not drive the structural changes needed.
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Background on the Solar Trade Association:
The mission of the Solar Trade Association is to empower the UK solar transformation. We are paving the way for solar to deliver the maximum possible share of UK energy by 2030 by enabling a bigger and better solar industry. We represent both solar heat and power, and have a proven track record of winning breakthroughs for solar PV and solar thermal.