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Plea for immediate Government cash to protect UKs energy-from-waste sector

A plea to protect the existing renewable energy industry with an immediate investment of £625 million will be made by the Renewable Energy Association at the Governments Low Carbon Summit today. REA policy director Gaynor Hartnell told MRW that between 20 to 25 per cent of this cash should be earmarked for waste and recycling related energy production.

This includes anaerobic digestion, combined heat and power, energy-from-waste and gasification.

At the Summit Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Business Secretary Lord Peter Mandelson and Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband will meet with business leaders to discuss the future of the broader green business sector.

Delegates attending the conference were expected to include representative from the waste and recycling industry including Viridor, Veolia Environmental Services and the Environmental Services Association among others.

Citing a study by bank HSBC, the REA said the UK lags behind other counties such as Germany, France, America and China for investment in the green sector. These countries have committed much larger sums of stimulus money than the UK and proportionally more to renewables.

The REA said investment was vital to safeguard the UKs exiting renewables industry. The money would also ensure the UK benefits directly from future jobs and manufacturing as well as ensuring the 2020 renewables target can still be met.

But it added a total green stimulus package of about £10bn would be needed to match the aspirations of other countries and meet the investment levels recommended by the Stern report.

REA director general Philip Wolfe said: "Other countries have already committed huge sums to renewables as part of their stimulus packages, not just because renewables tackle the twin threats of climate change and energy security, but because they also offer the technological stimulus needed in a recession to create high-value jobs and enterprise. It is vital for the UK to stage a sustainable economic recovery and our investment package is an essential first step towards that.

Global position
The UK is already the sixth largest low carbon and environmental goods and services economy.
Data from Innovas research.

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