Following David Cameron's speech to the Clean Energy Ministerial, below is a comment from Nathan Goode, Head of Energy, Environment and Sustainability at Grant Thornton;
"Cameron has pulled a rabbit out of the hat with his first speech on 'green issues'. We have confirmation that this Government remains committed to a diversified low carbon energy mix which is excellent news. Cameron's speech set the record straight with regards to his commitment to renewable and clean energy, and outlined concrete plans to take this sector forward into commercialisation.
"For the clean energy industry to thrive, it must retain a relentless focus on commercialisation. In a report Grant Thornton issued on 23rd April, we found that organisations globally are looking to clean technologies not simply for CSR reasons, but to save money and increase profitability. This tells us cleantech is going mainstream with the challenges and opportunities that this entails.
"The renewables sector has experienced some turbulence in policy support over the last few months. However, today, we see the Government recognises the importance of this sector and I hope that this pledge of support will be seen as a turning point in producing a successful and effective clean energy industry in the UK."
Off Shore Wind
"Cameron's speech detailed some of the ways in which his Government will support clean energy and in particular, he placed a strong focus on offshore wind. We're seeing targeted announcements designed to create collaboration and pathways to commercialisation for the offshore wind industry. Enhancing commercial viability is the best way to deal with the subsidy question as it gets us to position of reducing the subsidy quicker. This should be a win-win for the sector although the pathways to commercialisation must be constructed in the right way and given time to work efficiently as they won't solve cost problems overnight."
"The nature of the renewables sector means emphasis is often placed on the big ticket end but Cameron's speech made clear that Government realises the importance of SMEs in achieving the renewable energy targets set for the UK. SMEs and innovative entrepreneurs are key to making supply chains in the clean energy sector happen and therefore it is right that they are given support. He announced plans for the Entrepreneurial Fund that will not only enable smaller enterprises to attract investment and set themselves up, but it will be run by a panel of industry experts who will recognise the potential in the SME projects they will be assessing, reducing the likelihood of a fantastic idea slipping through the net as it does not correlate to a civil service 'tick sheet' method of approval."
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