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Industry reacts to Clean Growth Strategy announcement

Mixed reviews as long-awaited strategy is seen for the first time

With the Government’s long awaited Clean Growth Strategy published today (12th October), many of the industry’s top organisations have voiced their opinions.

The Solar Trade Association (STA) argued that the UK government is ‘artificially holding back’ solar revolution costs consumers and limits community & business action, with no explicit new measures to boost current deployment which has plummeted and which has been kept afloat by progressive planning policies by some local authorities.

Chris Hewett, STA policy manager said: “It does seem extraordinary that when a technology as vital to the world’s future as solar is asking, not for any new public support, but for simply a level playing field with other technologies that the Government is not moving to respond. This technology will dominate global power supply in years to come so in the interests of UK plc, the Government needs to stop putting the UK solar industry at a competitive disadvantage.

“We will be looking to the Autumn Statement for the measures we need urgently to level the playing field for solar power.”

The WWF also commented on the published strategy, with head of energy and climate, Gareth Redmond-King saying: “The strategy’s ambition is to be welcomed, however the details fall short of what we need to lead the UK to a green and prosperous future. The news on improving homes is a victory for owners, renters and landlords; and more money for off-shore wind – the cheapest form of generation – is great news. But overall the UK Government admits that it will miss most of its targets.

“They are not delivering the emissions reductions needed in the next decade, relying instead on past success to offset missed targets with the rapid power decarbonisation that we’ve seen to date. This risks passing on a worse situation to the next generation. The UK Government has much more work to do in putting forward credible policies to close a carbon gap of nearly 10% by 2032. We have been a global climate leader, but if we set out plans that don’t meet our own targets to meet the global threat of climate change, then we will have so much further to go to meet the more ambitious international ones agreed in Paris.”

But the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) were happier with the announcement. They said “the Clean Growth Strategy is a positive signal that the Government understand the significant opportunities for the UK that moving to a low carbon economy can bring. They have listened to the industry by providing a clearer longer-term trajectory for improving the energy efficiency standards of existing homes, and adopted our own aspiration for upgrading as many of these as possible to EPC Band C by 2035.”