UK’s Green Electricity Generation Gains Momentum

Due to a lack of investment, the UK has the lowest growth in low-carbon electricity generation by 2030 among the eight most developed economies.

The United Kingdom, which a few years ago was seen as at the forefront of the energy transition, in particular with the rise of its offshore wind turbines, is on the way to being left behind in the production of “green” electricity. , after a study.

“Of the eight most developed economies, the United Kingdom is on track to have the lowest growth in low-carbon electricity generation by 2030”, at 2.9% per year, finds this study led by Oxford Economics on behalf of industry organization Energy UK. This is less than France (3.1%), Japan (3.2%), Germany (5.8%), the United States (6.4%), China (7.2 %) and India (10.6%).

Lack of investment

The study attributes this slowdown to a lack of investment compared in particular to the United States, which voted the “Inflation Reduction Act” a year ago, promising 370 billion dollars injected into the energy transition, in particular for manufacturing. batteries for electric cars or solar panels. For its part, the European Union has reinforced its own tax reduction measures for investments in zero-carbon technologies.

“There is a risk that investment in ‘green’ infrastructure in the UK will be redirected to countries with more favorable tax regimes,” the study warns. Low-carbon energy is a strong growth sector but “unless the UK government makes investment in this sector in the UK more attractive, the 480,000 jobs expected from the energy transition by 2030 may not materialize,” the study concludes.

“Disturbing slowness”

The pace of the energy transition in the United Kingdom is “worryingly slow”, lamented in June the CCC, the independent body responsible for advising Downing Street on the transition to carbon neutrality. He called on the government to take “bolder actions and to make the climate a” priority again. In particular, since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which put energy security back at the center of the political debate, the green objectives seem waver in the United Kingdom, which was nevertheless one of the first developed countries to have adopted a carbon neutrality objective for 2050.

In 2021, when the country was hosting the Cop26 climate conference, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson even promised to make the United Kingdom the Saudi Arabia of wind power and presented ambitious climate objectives concerning for example the end of petrol and diesel vehicles. His successor, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, on the other hand, recently promised “hundreds” of new licenses for exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in the North Sea.

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Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.