From the TUC

Renewables: Keeping the UK on target

05 Mar 2010, by Guest in Environment

If we hit DECC’s current target of getting 15% of our energy from renewable sources by 2020, the employment prize will be enormous – up to half a million good, well-paying jobs across the UK.

The target itself is already bringing dividends. Firms like Mitsubishi and Clipper Wind are committing major new investments to build wind turbine factories in the UK. This means thousands of new jobs, both directly and in their suppliers. They see that the Government is serious and has a clear vision, and this creates the necessary confidence to invest in Britain for the very long term.

We also believe that having a clear target for renewable energy will help us to make faster progress because everyone – investors, Government, the regional development and skills agencies, and trade unions, know exactly what is expected of them. True, the target shows this will require a huge collective effort, but it will bring us enormous potential benefits as we shift to a low carbon future.

Here, I would like to thank the TUC and the trade unions for their strong support for a new, active industrial strategy that will bring real jobs back to our economy. Unions were among the first to see the huge employment opportunities from our new energy system.

However, renewable energy projects have high upfront costs. Investors are not going to take the risk if they don’t think Governments are serious.

This is why I am seeking cross-party support for the 15% renewables target – it’s too important to lose to uncertainty. Please help me if you can to call on the leader of the Opposition, David Cameron, to join me in making this firm pledge for the future, by cosigning my open letter to him – you can find more about this, and sign online on my Ed’s Pledge site.

We have a shared responsibility to tackle climate change. But the result will see the UK well placed to lead the world in major new green technologies.

GUEST POST: Ed Miliband MP is Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. He started his own campaigning website Ed’s Pledge in 2009, to use new media in gaining support for greater ambition in tackling climate change.

5 Responses to Renewables: Keeping the UK on target

  1. Carbon Diary: 15% is what is says on the tin | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    Mar 6th 2010, 9:46 am

    […] are long-term. That’s why long-term, cross-party backing for our renewable targets, such as the Secretary of State is calling for, is essential. It creates confidence – not just for investors, but for anyone looking for a […]

  2. Ruth Strong
    Mar 7th 2010, 5:28 pm

    It’s a pity that a commitment to renewable energy was not strong enough to prevent the closure of the Vesta works making wind turbines on the Isle of Wight. There was TU support to keep this industry in the UK but the Government turned their backs on 600 workers who lost their jobs in an area where jobs are scarce

  3. Paul Dyer
    Mar 9th 2010, 9:27 am

    Its about time that all partys got their acts together ,the government in particular,Vestas shuold never been allowed to close,also public transport needs bring back into public ownership, and sensible and sustainable services run at aaffordable fares.

  4. Ian Livsey
    Mar 9th 2010, 10:02 am

    I agree with Ed Milliband that the skills agencies – Sector Skills Councils in particular – have a key part to play in the renewable agenda. In fact, without the greening of the skills of our plumbers, electricians and other building services engineers there simply is no chance of moving to a low carbon economy. We are on to this. We have proposed and are now working through the details for a National Skills Academy to develop these green skills. The TUC has been highly supportive of this initiative and we value that support. If we get support from the LSC we should soon be able to move forward our Skills Academy. It’s important: there is no green agenda without properly skilled tradesmen ( and, sadly all too few, skilled tradeswomen.)

  5. Gary Heather
    Mar 9th 2010, 1:43 pm

    We need a cleaner and greener environment. We must tackle climate change by utilising renewable energy sources, while using home insulation to reduce energy bills.