• The REA responds to the Autumn Statement;
  • REA welcomes measures to speed up the planning system and improve grid infrastructure, however urges support for all, not just based on location;
  • Further investment for renewables vital to ensuring energy is affordable for households and businesses, while making the UK more energy independent in the long-term.

The REA (Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology) responds to the Autumn Statement from UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, which announced “110 measures to help grow the economy”.

These include full expensing for capital investment that could benefit renewables, accepting the recommendations of the Winser Review to improve grid connections and connect more renewables, and increased spending on local mitigation projects to unlock house building in a bid to get around nutrient neutrality rules.

The REA welcomes the Green Industries Growth Accelerator, as announced last week, which will benefit companies driving innovation in technologies like bioenergy carbon capture and storge, hydrogen and building our electricity networks. We also welcome Full Expensing which was confirmed as permanent. Previous deadlines for this tax investment allowance meant many renewable projects could not benefit due to longer build out times. Making the measure permanent should now encourage such projects to go ahead. However, given the universal nature of this measure for all plant and machinery, further green tax incentives should be considered to ensure that business investment is aligned to the growing of a green net zero economy.

Mr Hunt also announced today that those living near electricity infrastructure will receive up to £10,000 of their bills in a bid to speed up the roll out of new networks. While the REA welcomes speeding up access to the national grid support and a good environmental justice measure for those impacted, to give support based on geographical location, rather than need, risks creating a postcode lottery.

Investment in clean technologies is vital to the UK’s energy security and future prosperity. Most of the investment needed will come from the private sector but requires stable policy and long-term targets from Government, which has been woefully delayed.

Frank Gordon, Director of Policy at the REA (Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology) said:

“The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement revealed some welcome and long needed measures to speed up grid connectivity, while conformation of permeant tax allowances for businesses investing in plant and machinery, should also help incentivise companies to deploy renewable and clean technologies to help them decarbonise.  

“In light of economic forecasts estimating rising inflation and lower growth, the REA reiterates the singular economic growth opportunities of renewable energy and clean technology. 

“We are clear, tackling climate change and boosting our economy is not an ‘either-or’ decision. We cannot forget that rising energy prices were the major source of inflation in the past year and the only way to remove this risk to the economy is move rapidly to renewables and end reliance on imported fossil fuels. 

“In order to secure better economic prospects in the long-term, we must speed up the transition to a green economy and do more to support the decarbonisation of the heat, transport, and heavy industry sectors.

“We look forward to working alongside government in the coming months to accelerate this transition.”