Comment and recording: UK response to US Inflation Reduction Act

Experts on what should be included in any UK Government response to the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), expected at the time of the Autumn Statement. [1]

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By George Smeeton

info@eciu.net

Information on this page correct as of:

A recording of the briefing is available here, and comments from the panellists are below; if you have any questions about these or would like to get in touch with any of the speakers, please do let us know.

Dr. Andy Palmer, CEO PodPoint and Founder, Palmer Automotive:

“Whatever the UK government announce in the Autumn Statement will not be enough. Successive governments have sat on their hands for too long as other countries have taken the lead on electric vehicles.

“The UK has thus far stuck with an admirable, but deeply naive, defence of the free market when it comes to EV manufacturing and incentives. The hard truth is that we are not operating on a level playing field due to the huge public investments from not only the USA, but also Asia and China.

“For the UK to succeed we need to see ambitious investment and public/private sector co-operation to safeguard the 800,000 jobs associated with our domestic auto industry.”

Nick Winser, Commissioner, National Infrastructure Commission:

“The NIC calculates the UK will need to attract around £40 to £50 billion a year in private investment over the next two decades, up from around £30 to 40 billion per year over the last decade.

“This upfront investment will be required to enable our transition off fossil fuels, reducing household bills for the longer term, as well as delivering improvements to water quality and improving the climate resilience of key networks. Securing that level of investment will require greater policy stability and a visible pipeline of opportunities, reform of the planning system for major projects, and predictable regulatory models.”

Ana Musat, Executive Director, Policy & Engagement, Renewable UK:

“The question is are we unlocking everything that could be unlocked if we had a proper industrial strategy in place? And the answer for now is not really.

“By devising an industrial strategy and looking at where Government can work together with industry to maximise those areas of competitive advantage is going to be really important. The Autumn Statement, if it is to be the response to the Inflation Reduction Act, really should look at that.

“An industrial strategy doesn’t just mean that Government gives money to industry, it’s about having that collaborative model that we have in other sectors and recognising that renewable energy and energy security is really important and one of the key sectors for our economy; lets ensure we have that collaborative model and enable the private investment to come into the areas that we’re best at.”

Dr Chris Case, Chief Technical Officer, Oxford PV:

“The US and EU markets are offering the most attractive and supportive proposition right now for companies such as ourselves, which are seeking to accelerate the clean energy transition by scaling innovative, next generation technologies.

“The UK Government should prioritise subsidies to renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind, instead of fossil fuels or nuclear. There is also a responsibility to educate and drive an attitude change towards renewable energy in the UK.”

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Notes to editors:

1. Media briefing: UK response to US Inflation Reduction Act: https://eciu.net/media/events/media-briefing-uk-response-to-us-inflation-reduction-act

2. A full recording of the media briefing can be downloaded here: https://we.tl/t-Dw3c9qYcrf

About the panellists:

Nicholas Winser is a Commissioner at the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC). He was previously Chief Executive Officer of National Grid across UK and Europe, President of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity and CIGRE UK Chair. Nick has been the chairman of Energy Systems Catapult since 2015; and in July 2022 Nick was appointed as the government’s Electricity Networks Commissioner to accelerate the delivery of crucial electricity network infrastructure: https://nic.org.uk/about/the-commission/

Ana Musat is the Executive Director for Policy & Engagement at RenewableUK. She oversees the trade association’s policy work across all renewable technologies, as well as the programme of engagement with members, media and other external stakeholders. Prior to joining RenewableUK, she was the Head of Policy at Aldersgate Group and also served as a Lead Consultant for the Green Finance Institute’s Coalition for the Decarbonisation of Road Transport: https://www.renewableuk.com/page/MeettheTeam

Andy Palmer has 44 years' experience in the automotive industry having previously been COO of Nissan, President and Group CEO of Aston Martin Lagonda and Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of SWITCH Mobility Ltd. Now Founder & CEO Palmer Automotive Ltd., and CEO of PodPoint plc: https://www.drandypalmer.com/

Chris Case is responsible for Oxford PV’s technology, from driving innovation to maximising commercial value as Oxford PV seeks to bring the benefits of tandem solar cells to market. He serves as a Board Member of the European Solar Manufacturing Council and a Steering Committee member of the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP-PV). Since 2021 he has been the President of the International Thin-Film Solar Industry Association (PVthin). He also advises the SuperSolar Hub of the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC): https://www.oxfordpv.com/chriscase