Civil engineers issue policy plea
UPDATE: DECC says it has 'driven down' cost of renewables
The UK Government’s renewable energy policy will result in a “near collapse” in civil engineering contracts in the sector.
The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) said today that the UK’s approach to renewables must change to protect jobs and growth.
CECA estimates there is over £300m in civils activity in the Scottish renewables sector alone but the industry will “fall off a cliff” if the current policy remains in place.
Chief Executive Alasdair Reisner said: “CECA has long argued that the UK Government must commit to a long-term energy strategy based on a diverse energy mix that does not deter badly-needed investment to enable a safe and secure energy supply.
“The UK Government’s policy of removing support for the renewables sector is extremely disappointing, as the sector had been making substantial progress towards cost efficiency during the lifetime of this Parliament.”
He added: “Policy changes to date will lead to substantial job losses within the industry and its supply chains. If those skills are lost, the challenge of rapidly reskilling the sector will be extremely costly.
“We call on the UK Government to reassess its approach to the renewables sector, adopt an evidence-based approach to renewables policy, and recognise the role it must play in providing the diverse energy portfolio the country needs.”
DECC said the UK is making progress towards its renewable targets for 2020, exceeding its latest interim target with 6.3% of final energy consumption coming from renewable sources against a target of 5.4%.
“Our priority is providing clean and secure energy while keeping bills as low as possible. To do this, we have driven down the cost of renewables, helping new technologies stand on their own two feet while still meeting our renewable energy commitments," said a DECC spokesman.
“We are investing in new energy infrastructure fit for the 21st century, boosting spending on innovation and doubling support for renewable heat and electricity over the next five years.”
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