Put renewables at heart of green recovery, say trade bodies

  • Renewables trade bodies and related associations write to Chancellor calling for renewables to be placed at the heart of the post Covid-19 green recovery plans to ensure we #buildbackbetter

A consortium of trade associations representing the renewables industry and related sectors have sent a joint open letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak making the case for renewables to be embedded into the UK Government’s stimulus packages to address the economic recession caused by the coronavirus outbreak, as well as the larger issue of climate change.

In the letter, the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE), ECA, the REA, Scottish Renewables and the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) highlight the value of scaling up the renewables industry to develop a circular economy that meets net zero targets and provides not only return on investment, but crucially, millions of jobs and energy security.

Referring to the Prime Minister’s campaign to “Build Back Better”, the signatories ask the Government to ensure the UK “builds back green”, and urge the Chancellor to:

  • choose renewables as a safer and more lucrative investment option than fossil fuels
  • focus on job creation across ALL renewables and related low carbon technologies – not just solar and wind
  • ensure energy security for the UK is achieved through renewables

They also call for the UK to show leadership in the lead up to the UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021.  With the US stepping out of the Paris Agreement and China reneging on previous green pledges, they see “an opportunity for someone else to show leadership on the green transition and give the world renewed hope” and urge “the UK Government, as the host of the next UN climate summit, COP26, to take up this role and to make the only sensible choice: a green response to COVID-19”.

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE FEI, Chief Executive of the REA, commented: “A Green Recovery holds enormous opportunities for the UK from economic benefits and energy security to improved health and the creation of thousands of green jobs.
“It is encouraging to see the Government acknowledge this and commit to a Green Recovery, but it is also important that we get this right from the outset. This letter outlines the foundations needed to achieve a successful and inclusive Green Recovery that is in line with our existing Net Zero targets.”

Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association, said: ” Investing in renewables and circular economy technologies now is an absolute necessity to ensure we transition out of fossil fuels into green energy sources to achieve the UK’s net zero targets, creating tens of thousands of green jobs in the process.  Anaerobic digestion and biogas alone can create 30,000 direct jobs and cut the UK’s annual greenhouse gases emissions by 6% by 2030 – especially in hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as transport, heat and agriculture. They also support the waste management sector by recycling organic matter and turning it into green energy and biofertilisers.

“We’re delighted to be joining forces with renewables and related associations to make the case for our industries and ensure we can play our part in building a better, greener economy in the UK.”

Caroline Bragg, ADE Head of Policy, said “The ADE is pleased to support this joint letter to the Chancellor to back a wide variety of low carbon technologies. Faster progress in energy efficiency and smart, flexible systems will be a crucial part of the green recovery and up our ability to integrate greater renewables for our heating and power.

“Adopting these recommendations will see real quantifiable green jobs created up and down the country, putting decarbonisation to work to level up our regions. The recommendations will drive a just transition, allowing those impacted by these extraordinary times to reskill and be part of the future green economy.”

Luke Osborne, energy advisor at engineering services trade body ECA, said “The Government’s commitment to a green recovery is positive, but it must be powered by a renewables revolution. We urge the Government to lead the way ahead of the upcoming COP summit by incentivising and backing clean energy sources. A renewables revolution will create thousands of jobs, boost the economy, and help improve the UK’s energy security.”

Scottish Renewables Chief Executive Claire Mack said “Our research has shown that every gigawatt of renewable power installed in Scotland has created 1,500 jobs and added £133 million of GVA to our economy. Put simply, the renewable energy industry is Scotland’s passport to green economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“No other industry but renewables provides the opportunity for investment, improvement of health and tackling the climate emergency in one, often shovel-ready package.”

Ben Nelmes, Head of Public Policy at UKSIF “Investing in sustainable projects will deliver better returns as the world acts on climate change. The chancellor’s plans for economic recovery must have a green thread running through them, and the autumn budget is an opportunity to create new sustainable investment opportunities, reduce carbon emissions and create green jobs in every nation and region of the UK.” 


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for further information, contact:

Nick Sharpe – [email protected]; tel: 07941 593 951


Notes to editors:

  • The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) is the trade association for the UK anaerobic digestion (AD) and biogas industry. With its members, ADBA promotes the economic and environmental benefits of AD in the UK. ADBA’s vision is to see the full potential of the UK AD industry realised so it can help the UK achieve its emissions targets and other policy goals, creating a truly circular economy. adbioresources.org
  • The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) is setting the vision of a local, efficient, flexible, low carbon energy system which enables energy users to make the choices which work for them. The Association has more than 160 members active across a range of technologies and markets and is widely recognised as one of the leading industry bodies in the sustainable energy sector. theade.co.uk
  • ECA is the UK’s largest trade association representing electrotechnical and engineering services organisations, at regional, national and European level. ECA’s 2,700 members range from SME electrotechnical businesses to nationwide engineering services organisations that employ thousands of professionals on major UK projects. eca.co.uk 
  • REA is the UK’s largest trade association for renewable energy and clean technologies with around 550 members operating across heat, transport, and power. The REA is a not-for-profit organisation that represents renewable energy and clean technology companies operating in over fourteen sectors, ranging from biogas and renewable fuels to solar and electric vehicle charging. Membership ranges from major multinationals to sole traders. r-e-a.net
  • Scottish Renewables is the voice of Scotland’s renewable energy industry. The sectors we represent deliver investment, jobs, social benefits and reduce the carbon emissions which cause climate change. Our members work across all renewable energy technologies, in Scotland, the UK, Europe and around the world. In representing them, we aim to lead and inform the debate on how the growth of renewable energy can help sustainably heat and power Scotland’s homes and businesses. scottishrenewables.com
  • The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) is the membership organisation for those in financial services committed to growing sustainable and responsible finance in the UK. Our vision is a fair, inclusive and sustainable financial system that works for the benefit of society and the environment. Our 240 members and affiliates include financial advisers, institutional and retail fund managers, pension funds, banks, research providers, consultants and NGOs. uksif.org