The UK Government has earmarked £3.8bn of stimulus funding for legacy fossil fuel and nuclear generation, compared to just £121m for renewables, a damning new report has claimed. Published by global technology company Wärtsilä’s energy arm, the analysis concludes that the UK Government’s short-term plans for helping the energy sector recover from the financial impacts of Covid-19 are not aligned with the 2050 net-zero target or the interim carbon budgets. It maps out the benefits to the economy and the climate if the UK were to invest all of its energy stimuli in renewables through to the end of 2025, claiming that this scenario would bring the generation share of renewables up to 60%. In comparison, the share in 2019 was 37%. Wärtsilä Energy believes that wind would account for the majority of renewable generation in this scenario and energy storage capacity would be scaled up dramatically. The report also outlines how almost 124,000 jobs could be created or saved in this scenario. Using the same calculations for a scenario in which all energy stimulus is allocated to fossil fuels, it sees the renewable scenario positively affecting 175% more jobs. This finding is in line with recent research from McKinsey, which concluded that for every $10m (£8m) invested by a Government in energy efficiency, 77 jobs could be created. For investment in renewable generation technologies, the figure stands at 75 jobs. In comparison, funnelling $10m into fossil fuels would create just 27 jobs.
Edie 29th Oct 2020 read more »
According to Professor Rebecca Willis, the findings from the UK Climate Assembly suggest that the general public feels strongly that covid recovery must be aligned with net zero goals, both in terms of a green economic stimulus and in terms of not giving government money to big polluters. She also noted that the pandemic has create an opportunity space, in which people are more open to lifestyle changes – including those that might be more environmentally friendly.
Centre for Science & Policy 12th Oct 2020 read more »