UK renewable energy sector troubled by Brexit uncertainty

22 January, London – Investments in renewable energy projects in the United Kingdom have plunged by over £1 billion since the country voted to leave the European Union, and the trend is expected to worsen, according to Green Alliance.

The uncertainty resulting from Brexit regarding the country’s ongoing commitment to European renewable energy targets and directives, as well as the country’s future economic performance, has deterred investors. The closure of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), as well as the approval of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station by Theresa May’s government have also had a negative reception.

Green Alliance expects a 95% fall in renewable energy investments by 2020 if the government does not clarify its position on renewable energies. Unless the trend reverses, the UK may miss its pledges under the Paris Agreement.

May, in a speech given on 17 January, announced that the UK would seek close collaboration with the EU in clean energy development and research, whilst refusing to be automatically bound by European environmental and energy laws. In reality, to continue to trade within the single market, the United Kingdom may voluntarily follow some standards.

Whilst the focus on clean energy was well received, RenewableUK called for greater clarity on the government’s long-term energy strategy. Other groups have argued that the government should show greater ambition than the rest of the EU, turning the UK into a global leader for renewables.

Click to see the Green Alliance report, ‘Future Low Carbon Investment in the UK: Priorities for the Government's Climate Strategy’.