The UK Government has finally provided a clear commitment of support for the renewable energy industry today with the major announcement of a £7.6 billion package of investment.
After months of uncertainty, the Government revealed the huge financial boost as it set out the measures for inclusion in the upcoming Energy Bill.
It has been estimated that the Treasury's firm commitment for the provision of £7.6 billion for the renewable energy sector between 2015 and 2020 will now act as the catalyst for at least a further £40 billion of private sector investment.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said today's landmark agreement on energy policy would deliver a clear and long-lasting signal to investors.
He said: “This is a durable agreement across the Coalition against which companies can invest and support jobs and our economic recovery.
“The decisions we’ve reached are true to the Coalition Agreement, they mean we can introduce the Energy Bill next week and have essential electricity market reforms up and running by 2014 as planned.
“They will allow us to meet our legally binding carbon reduction and renewable energy obligations and will bring on the investment required to keep the lights on and bills affordable for consumers.”
The surprise news was welcomed by trade association RenewableUK, which said the cash support would create tens of thousands of jobs and help build up the industry to become one of the country's biggest engines for growth.
And they claimed the pledge was a sign the Treasury and the Department of Climate Change are finally working together to deliver investment, jobs and a low-carbon future.