Green Party to pledge £12bn to renewables annually

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 energy. 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 20GW 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 remaining 30 per cent of the UK’s energy supply by 2030.

Former Green Party leader and candidate for Brighton Pavillion, Caroline Lucas, believes that the UK needs a radical transformation of its energy system if it is 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,” she said.

“This is the Green New Deal in action: delivering clean energy, green jobs and empowering local communities.”

The Greens have faced criticism for proposing a 2030 net zero target that many commentators regard as unfeasible, with critics warning it will drastically increase the cost of decarbonisation and will require a huge increase in the UK's cleantech skills base.

However, the Greens have countered it is justified to borrow to fund a massive increase in low carbon infrastructure spending and invest in the UK's skills base.

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