The Government's decision to reduce the support provided to onshore wind by 10% is sensible as it is based upon evidence of costs falling. Given the importance of investor confidence, it is essential that the outcomes of any future reviews are also based on clear evidence. For offshore wind, which has a much larger role to play in meeting the UK's carbon targets, the Government has set out the trajectory for cost reduction which the industry must meet to be commercial. We believe this will be challenging but achievable with a concerted effort from industry and government to accelerate cost reduction through innovation. The Carbon Trust is working closely with industry to try to achieve this. It is vital to continue to support renewables given that they are a key pillar of the UK's strategy to meet our carbon targets. It is equally important to get the UK's gas strategy right. That is where we have real concerns. For gas to continue to play a role beyond 2030, as is now proposed, any new and existing gas power plants will need to be equipped with carbon capture and storage technology by this time. For the UK to meet is carbon targets, a concerted effort is needed to ensure CCS is developed over the next twenty years. That needs to be reflected in the Government's gas strategy due in the Autumn. The benefits to the UK economy of low carbon energy are significant and should not be overlooked. Recent Carbon Trust research shows that innovation in offshore wind alone could achieve economic value to the UK from exports of up to £35 billion by 2050.
- James Wilde, Director of Innovation and Policy at the Carbon Trust