Priscilla Hall, head of Clarke Willmott’s national Construction team, shares her thoughts on the firm’s new green energy division. Priscilla will head up the division which has merged Clarke Willmott’s renewable and nuclear energy teams.
The Government continues to identify the strategic importance of growing the country’s renewable and nuclear energy capability over the next 15 years, both from an environmental and economic perspective. In June 2019, the UK’s 2050 greenhouse emissions reduction target was increased from 80% to NetZero following the recommendation of the Committee on Climate Change.
With this backdrop and an ever-increasing appetite for growing clean, sustainable and reliable electricity capacity, what the UK needs is the low carbon energy sector pulling together to deliver against these green energy targets. Generating energy from low carbon sources provides a multi-billion-pound economic stimulus, particularly following the impact of Covid-19, having the ability to provide employment, inward investment, contracts for UK companies and international supply chain opportunities. It is estimated by 2050 that over 60% of the UK’s clean energy will come from renewable sources, with the remainder coming from nuclear.
Over the last 20 years, Clarke Willmott has built long standing partnerships in the renewable sector. Our experience has grown considerably, and we are retained to act for many clients including biogas operators; district heating scheme companies; wind and solar farm developers; and our agricultural clients who have diversified amongst many others. With new clean renewable energy initiatives such as tidal and hydrogen power being considered to add to the mix the future is exciting.
We have been involved in the nuclear energy sector since 2010 and have developed a strong reputation supporting the construction of Hinkley Point C (HPC), the first new UK power plant to be built in over a generation. Alongside the planned building of Sizewell C and others, the nuclear future with further research and development could incorporate small modular reactors and fusion energy to deliver increased reliable and on-tap clean energy.
Whilst there will always be specific opportunities and requirements in the various sectors of low carbon energy generation, the creation of our new Green Energy division will ensure our clients can take advantage of our specialist and knowledgeable cross functional team of solicitors. Our ‘whole project life’ approach and the breadth of our expertise, means we can support our clients every step of the way.
From scheme inception through to planning, set up, site operations, build, finance, regulation, commissioning and subsequent operation of plants and facilities, we provide clients with the legal support that is needed achieve their commercial and environmental goals. I look forward to Clarke Willmott growing its expertise as the green energy sector advances in the coming years, whilst supporting the UK drive to achieve NetZero by 2050 or before.