Placing a greater focus on renewables can help to boost the UK economy and benefit all involved, it has been claimed.

According to Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, a greater role for sustainable energy sources such as solar panels within the UK's "diverse energy mix" can protect Britain from "fossil fuel price shocks".

He explained that it can help to bring "significant growth" to the economy and noted that the government is not only focused on growth, but on a more balanced form of expansion, with decisions taken for the long term.

"Our commitment to a low-carbon future is driven by a hard-headed assessment that it is good for our economy and essential for our long-term energy security," he explained.

"That is why we want more renewables in our energy mix – and why, over the past two years, we've added more renewable capacity than at any time in the last decade."

He pointed out that the cost of support for renewables is "not great" – standing at around 3p out of every £1 on the average household electricity bill – but it is there, and noted that it is the government's responsibility to UK citizens to create a low-carbon energy mix that is affordable both for the taxpayer, the bill payer and the wider economy.

"There's a historical precedent here: our oil and gas supply chain benefited from direct and indirect government support, building a world-class industry."

Mr Davey also touched on the new Green Investment Bank, noting that, alongside reforms to the electricity market and a step-change on energy efficiency through the Green Deal, the Bank heralds the beginnings of "a new industrial policy", as it opens for business and starts making its first investments.

"As with the government's other energy and climate policies, the UK Green Investment Bank is about looking to a different horizon – not just thinking short-term, but building a more sustainable economy," he added.