Renewables subsidies must be linked to UK manufacturing

13 Dec 2021
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GMB, the energy union, says renewable energy subsidies must be tied to domestic manufacturing if they are going to make a meaningful reduction in emissions. 

The Government this week announced the ‘Contact for Difference’ (CFD) scheme, which offers renewables producers the chance to bid for £285 million of subsides to help develop an increase of 12GW of electricity capacity through renewable energy. 

The scheme has incentives for those building wind, solar and tidal powered schemes.

But CFD does not appear to tie producers to any local content rules which would ensure the plant and equipment necessary for the projects is built within the UK.  

In contrast, This contrast a similar scheme unveiled by Joe Biden in the USA features subsidies tied to local content rules requiring 55 per cent of steel used to be domestically produced. 

Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said: 

“Subsidies for renewable energy are welcome, but the failure to bring in local content rules in line with the US means that the carbon footprint of wind turbines and tidal powered facilities is going to be far higher than it needs to be. 

“If the UK had taken the decision to replicate the requirements set down in the US plan, it would not only have ensured that the steel used was made to our high emissions standards but would also have helped secure vital jobs in the sector.  

“Currently we import far too much of our renewables infrastructure  - this is a missed opportunity to both cut emissions and support UK manufacturing.” 

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