“With global demand forecast to increase by more than 40% in the next two decades we urgently need a more diverse, cleaner mix of energy sources that will give us energy security without causing irreparable damage to the planet,” he said.
Despite Germany recently pulling out of its plans to build a number of nuclear power stations David Cameron reiterated the UK’s desire to create nuclear energy and continue to obtain shale gas despite the earthquakes that resulted from extraction in Blackpool.
“The rapid growth of renewable energy is also vital to our future,” said the Prime Minister, who said the UK should seek to adopt more of the technology developed overseas.
Britain has gone from virtually no capacity for renewables, to providing almost 10% of the UK’s total electricity needs last year.
Cameron boasted: “When I became Prime Minister, I said that Britain would have the greenest government ever. And that is exactly what we have.” However, this claim comes after the government dealt the renewable energy sector a massive blow on 1 April by cutting the feed-in tariff in half for people and firms investing in solar power.
Plans are afoot for several major new factories around the coast to help build the equipment and infrastructure needed the generation of offshore wind and marine energy.
In the last year alone there has been £4.7bn of investment in UK renewables supporting 15,000 new jobs.
“Now we have a different challenge,” said Cameron. “We need to make it financially sustainable.”
The Prime Minister said that there are three steps to take:
- We need to get costs down.
- We need to make renewable energy a viable proposition globally.
- We each need to focus our investment in renewables in the areas where we are best placed do so.
He stated that he saw the North Sea as a prime location for renewable energy and announced a new industry partnership with government in the region.
More than 20 companies announced their commitment to the partnership today and Rhian Kelly, director at the CBI for Business Environment, said: “The Prime Minister’s intervention will help to repair investor confidence following recent policy uncertainty.”
Ms Kelly added: “The announcement of a new industry partnership in North Sea renewable energy is welcome, as are efforts to help bring down the costs of offshore wind technology. Such costs can fall on both households and businesses and must be managed if we are to make the move to a low-carbon economy a reality.”