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5 March 2024
Green Economy

Extra GIGA Funding Boosts UK’s Potential to Secure Green Jobs and Private Investment in Clean Energy Supply Chain

Extra GIGA funding boosts UK’s potential to secure green jobs and private investment in clean energy supply chain

RenewableUK is welcoming the Treasury’s announcement that the Chancellor will provide an extra £120 million for the Green Industries Growth Accelerator (GIGA) in his Spring Budget on Wednesday. GIGA funding has the potential to unlock billions in private investment in clean energy supply chains to provide products and services for green projects here and abroad.

In his Autumn Statement in November, the Chancellor announced £960m of funding for the new Green Industries Growth Accelerator. The extra £120m to be announced in Wednesday’s Budget will increase this to nearly £1.1 billion.

RenewableUK wrote to the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt last month setting four key measures to secure green jobs and investment in the clean energy sector. These included committing up to £400m of GIGA funding to co-invest with the private sector and grow the offshore wind supply chain, boosting economic activity across the country. The Treasury has just announced that the Chancellor will confirm on Wednesday that £390 million of GIGA funding will be used to expand UK-based supply chains for the offshore wind industry and electricity networks.

To build on the positive signals from today’s announcement, we’re asking for additional measures to accelerate the roll-out of renewables. In our submission to the Treasury, we also highlighted the fact that Increasing investment in port infrastructure is essential, so that they can be upgraded to handle the manufacture and assembly of giant offshore turbines. Up to 11 ports around the UK will need to be transformed into new industrial hubs to enable the roll-out of floating wind at scale. Government funding would unlock the necessary private investment in ports, creating tens of thousands of new jobs. Every £1 invested in UK port facilities would generate up to £4.30 of added value to our economy, and by 2040, the floating offshore wind industry will support 45,000 jobs across the UK.

Industry is also encouraging the Government to set out an ambitious budget and parameters for this summer’s Contracts for Difference auction to maximise the amount of new clean energy capacity we can secure this year, following last year’s disappointing auction which failed to attract any offshore wind bids. This would not only unlock billions of pounds of inward investment into the UK, but also bolster the UK’s energy security, with new wind farms remaining one of the lowest cost means of generating new electricity for billpayers.

To keep the UK internationally competitive, we are calling for the Chancellor to provide tax relief for investors in clean energy projects, supply chains and training schemes, as the incentives being offered by the USA and the EU are making them increasingly attractive. We are also recommending an increase in funding for research and development in innovative technologies such as floating offshore wind, tidal stream, green hydrogen and energy storage. This would ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the development of these technologies, so that we can capitalise on future global markets for them.

RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Dan McGrail said:

“The Chancellor has a great opportunity in his Spring Budget speech to build on growing investor confidence in the UK and put us ahead of our global competitors in the escalating global race to build new clean energy projects and, crucially, to seize new manufacturing and supply chain opportunities. The increase in GIGA funding to secure further private investment in green manufacturing jobs will enable us to supply more goods and services to projects here and aboard. It’s also good to see that nearly £400m of that funding will be used specifically to grow our offshore wind supply chain and electricity networks.

“Overall, the four key steps that we have set out would enable the UK to secure billions of extra private investment and create tens of thousands of highly-skilled jobs all around the country – especially in coastal communities where we can build up new industries like floating wind.

“Worldwide demand for the high-tech components and services needed to build new projects is ratcheting up, so there’s never been a better time for the Chancellor to make Britain the best destination for international investment in renewables”.

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