The UK EEF, which used to be the Engineering Employers Federation but now styles itself as the manufacturers’ organisation, has positioned itself against the UK government’s renewables target in an Opinion Article published by the IET. You might think that renewables provided a good opportunity for EEF members but they are more worried about costs so favour Nuclear and carbon capture.
We should have learnt from the past that putting all our eggs in one basket is not a good policy (dash for gas). Although many renewables are currently be more expensive, they do have several advantages. For example they may be more sustainable, more flexible (it’s a group of technologies that don’t rely on access to water or places to store sequestrated carbon dioxide), and more socially acceptable. Nuclear falls on the last hurdle. Carbon Capture (CCS) is unproven and reduces efficiency, although in practice we’ll need to use all these options, including CCS.
Industry can remain competitive if the government doesn’t offshore carbon intensive industries, as it has done since Kyoto (which largely accounts for why the UK has met it’s emissions targets) and ensures we require imported goods to have the same carbon footprint better compared to those manufactured in the UK [fair competition, not protectionism].