The Green Party has announced plans to invest £12 billion a year in renewables, creating 75,000 clean energy jobs and enabling local communities to develop their own renewable projects.
£8.4 billion a year will be used to build an additional 40,000 wind turbines by 2030, split between 15,000 offshore turbines and 25,000 onshore turbines, which will together provide 70 per cent of the UK’s electricity. This will be financed by the £94.4 billion per year capital expenditure part of the Green New Deal, which will come from government borrowing.
The remaining £7.75 billion of the fund will be used for the ongoing maintenance of wind assets, to meet unforeseen costs and ensure that wind turbines remain in community hands.
As a result of this investment, the overall amount of energy from UK wind will be increased from around 20 gigawatts (GW) to over 100GW.
In addition to wind power, the Green Party will also provide support for other forms of renewable energy, including solar, geothermal, tidal and hydro, to provide the remainder of the UK’s energy supply by 2030.
Commenting on the proposals, former Green Party leader and candidate for Brighton Pavillion, Caroline Lucas, said: “We need a radical transformation of our energy system if we are to meet net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. Investing in community based renewable energy will not only help reach that target, but also puts power in people’s hands.
“This is the Green New Deal in action: delivering clean energy, green jobs and empowering local communities.”
Yesterday (3 December), Lucas visited a solar farm in Bristol with Bristol West candidate Carla Denyer, a former wind farm engineer.
Denyer explained: “Before I got into politics, I was a renewables engineer. But I got frustrated trying to change the world one wind turbine at a time. With this policy, the Green Party would usher in the kind of large-scale change to our energy generation that Britain needs to be carbon neutral by 2030.
“It’s ambitious and optimistic. But the time for delay on climate action is over. We have the technology to go carbon neutral. We have the people and we have the skills. All we need now is the will. The time for action is now.”