UK Budget: Industry ‘disappointed’ by absence of solar, storage measures

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New UK chancellor Rishi Sunak presenting the Budget in London on Wednesday 11 January. Image: HM Treasury.

Solar is once again absent from the UK Budget, with the latest proposals sidestepping renewables even as they pledge a funding boost for electric vehicles (EVs), nuclear and carbon capture technologies.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak – just a month into the job following prime minister Boris Johnson's cabinet reshuffle in February – presented the nation's Budget on Wednesday 11 March, under the shadow of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

The proposals unveiled from the chancellor's fabled red briefcase saw carbon capture and storage (CCS) and nuclear fusion receive funding commitments, with £800 million (US$1 billion) pledged to establish two or more CCS clusters and R&D funding promised for nuclear fusion.

Solar and energy storage were both conspicuously missing, however. There was a solitary mention of the drops seen with solar technology costs and a prediction that onshore wind, offshore wind and solar together are likely to be the UK’s primary source of electricity in the future, but no announcements made.

Some within the UK energy community reacted by warning about the Budget's lack of climate focus, with Renewable Energy Association chief executive Dr Nina Skorupska arguing the proposals “do not make the strides needed to fully unleash the potential of the sector and pave the way to net zero”.

See below for a compilation of UK Budget coverage by PV Tech's sister titles Solar Power Portal and Current±, with stories from deputy editor Molly Lempriere and reporter Alice Grundy. 

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