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What does the spring budget mean for UK renewables?

Spring Budget

At a time of economic difficulty for many in the UK, due to the cost-of-living crisis and rising inflation, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered the spring budget to the nation. A product of months of work at the Treasury Department, the spring budget serves to update the public on the state of the UK economy. It summarises any progress made since last autumn, when the Chancellor also delivered a budget, and it provides economic forecasts and predictions.

With a general election looming within the next year, this particular budget comes at a key turning point.

Amongst the announcements included a 2% cut to National Insurance, the debt threshold rising from £30,000 to £50,000, and a 6-month extension to the £500 million Household Support Fund. There was also some positive news for the UK renewable energy industry, with announcements including:

  • The budget for the next Contract for Difference Allocation Round, AR6, is over £1 billion, with £800 million ring-fenced for offshore wind, and the remainder up for grabs for onshore wind, solar, biomass, and tidal technologies
  • £120 million has been pledged for the Green Industries Growth Accelerator (GIGA), boosting support for clean energy supply chains
  • A promise to streamline Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs), which will help deliver complex projects at speed

At a juncture for the UK on our path to net zero, announcements like these are important. Whilst it is pleasing to see the government take initiative when forging a path for renewable energy to flourish, analysis from EnergyUK shows that the measures do not go far enough. Commitments can only go so far; instead, actual funding or new concrete policies would instil wholehearted change in terms of grid investment, network reform, and planning delays. 

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