There has been a “dramatic and worrying collapse” in investment in clean energy in the UK in the past three years, MPs have warned.
The proportion of Britain’s electricity generated from low-carbon sources — including nuclear — has doubled between 2009 and last year, when it hit a record 50 per cent.
Yet this belies a drop in the annual investment in clean energy, which fell 10 per cent year-on-year in 2016 and another 50 per cent in 2017 — when it was at its lowest level since 2008, according to the Commons environmental audit committee.
In a report published on Wednesday, the MPs on the committee blamed the trend on a succession of Conservative-led policy decisions, including cuts to green energy subsidies.
Since 2015, ministers have privatised the Green Investment Bank, prematurely closed the renewables obligation to onshore wind, removed the climate change levy exemption for renewables and reduced feed-in tariffs for small-scale renewable generation.
The government has also cancelled the zero carbon homes policy that was due to begin in 2016 and scrapped a £1bn competition to set up a new “carbon capture and storage” plant to remove carbon dioxide from gas plants.