“Today’s announcements add more pieces to the green energy jigsaw,” said Prospect head of research Sue Ferns. “But they are ambitious and the current low prices for carbon are a disincentive to invest in wind and other renewables, as well as nuclear and clean coal. Tackling this problem will be essential to meet the government’s ambition for British-based businesses to be at the heart of an expanded nuclear market, which Prospect strongly supports.
“The government now recognises the urgent need to reinvest in the UK’s engineering skills base and, at last, accepts that this cannot just be left to the market but will require public investment. There is also welcome recognition of the need for more strategic investment in the grid, and for a change in the regulatory regime to support this.”
Prospect also welcomed the new UK Low-Carbon Transition Plan but emphasised the need for a fair transition for workers and all affected communities. “We need measures to ensure that workers in carbon-intensive jobs receive proper support to acquire new skills and high quality jobs needed for a low-carbon economy,” said Ferns. “We support the push by the TUC and unions internationally for this just transition to be integrated into the agenda of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen next month.”