With the Queen’s speech today outlining the coalition Government’s plans to revitalise the economy, those within renewable energy will be pondering the future of the UK low carbon economy.
Frost & Sullivan have conducted a study which indicates that the Clegg-Cameron alliance commitment to a low carbon economy could prove beneficial to other struggling industries and in particular, chemicals. The chemical industry plays an important part in the manufacture of new renewable technologies such as solar PV. Frost & Sullivan therefore predict that the growth of the UK solar industry, pushed by the feed-in tariff could help support the chemical industry.
Making comparisons to Germany who introduced their own feed-in tariff system in 2000 in order to incentivise solar investment, Frost & Sullivan believe that the UK feed-in tariff could prove to be a similarly successful catalyst for UK industry as a whole.
Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst, Dr. Nicola Rudd stated that,
“Increased deployment of photovoltaics has a knock-on effect on the chemical industry as the raw materials, such as solar grade silicon and industrial gases, are supplied by chemical manufacturers. Several of these companies, such as PV Crystalox Solar and Linde, have facilities in the UK and could benefit from this increased local demand for photovoltaics.”
Rudd believes that other areas of UK manufacturing could also benefit from moves towards a low carbon economy. The manufacture of electric and hybrid vehicles in the UK is set to grow, creating jobs and supporting related industries. Rudd believes that,
“The UK is going to be a manufacturing hub for electric vehicles, as demonstrated by Nissan’s announcement that they are going to be manufacturing electric vehicles in Sunderland from 2013.”