In six days’ time the UK goes to the polls to choose its next Government, and it’s pretty clearly a tight race. All the indications are that we may not know the make-up of that Government until some time after May 7th.
The parties have made a number of environmental pledges in their published manifestos. All of them – with the exception of UKIP which would repeal the Climate Change Act, scrap renewable energy tariffs and ditch the Department of Energy and Climate Change! – have made encouraging noises.
Talking to colleagues across the industry, it is fair to say that the vast majority are looking for stability after May 7th. Our industry is in good spirits and the most important requirement is to know that whoever is in power will continue to give their support to renewables.
The Conservatives have promised that new renewable technologies and research projects will receive start-up funding; Labour will establish an Energy Security Board with responsibility for planning and delivering the energy mix including renewables. The Lib Dems on green issues alone, would probably get my vote, or the Green Party, but elections are clearly about more than green issues, even for us in the sector.
On wind farms, the Tories have pledged to “halt the spread of onshore wind farms”, and make no specific mention of solar in their manifesto, while, in sharp contrast, the Lib Dems want to end what they call “ideologically motivated” interference in local planning decisions by Ministers, Amen to that (no political allegiance, other than contempt for Eric Pickles).
Our next newsletter will digest the fall-out from Thursday’s General Election. In the meantime, you can catch up on all the promises being made by our political parties by going to: