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PwC: Investment in renewables hit record high in 2014

PwC: Investment in renewables hit record high in 2014

PwC: Investment in renewables hit record high in 2014

Companies in the UK invested a total of £10.7 billion in renewable energies in 2014 - the nation's biggest-ever spend in a single 12-month period.

This is according to PwC's latest annual analysis of the investment environment for renewables, published on Thursday (May 14th).

The professional services firm forecast that by the end of 2015, the UK will have spent £50 billion to develop infrastructure such as wind farms and solar panels over the past five years.

It warned that the country will need to keep close to this level of investment through the next half-decade in order to meet the government's 2020 energy generation targets, however, with a further £42 billion in capital required to fulfil those goals.

The findings in depth

According to PwC, 2014 proved to be the year in which solar power "made a step change in deployment", with spending on the technology topping £4.5 billion to account for an impressive 45 per cent of total renewables investment.

"[The first quarter of 2015] is expected to continue the same vein, with further substantial deployment," it added.

This chimes with the outlook of the Renewable Energy Association, whose senior advisor Ray Noble told Edie.net at the Sustainability Live conference in April that "even if ... all subsidies [stopped] tomorrow, the solar industry would continue on".

The PwC analysis did, however, determine that the UK is not yet on track to deliver on its investment targets for renewable heat sources such as bioenergy, heat pumps and solar thermal panels. It warned that an extra £5.9 billion will need to be spent in this area for the country to "make up for lost ground" in the run-up to 2020.

Similarly, it found that almost four-fifths (77 per cent) of the nation's biofuel obligations are met through imports and that it lacks a "clear trajectory" towards its goal of 4.75 per cent of transport using renewable fuel sources with the next half-decade.

'Another strong year'

Commenting on the data, Ronan O'Regan - director of Renewables and Cleantech for PwC - described 2014 as "another strong year" for investment in renewable energies.

"The majority of investment during 2014 was in renewable electricity generation, attracting almost £10 billion of capital, with solar the big winner representing £4.5 billion of investment," he continued.

"However ... the sector will be looking to the new secretary of state to provide the investor certainty through to the end of the decade and beyond both in terms of funding and technology preferences."

 

Posted by William Rodriguez

Image courtesy of ThinkStock