Outgoing CEO led the influential trade body during a period of significant growth for the UK renewable industry since taking the role in April 2016
Trade body RenewableUK is embarking on the process of finding a new CEO after Hugh McNeal, who took the position in April 2016, announced he will step down next year.
The job advert is already live, with the recruitment process led by RenewableUK's board advised by specialist recruitment firm Taylor Hopkins
McNeal joined RenewableUK at an uncertain time for the sector, as the UK government's support scheme for onshore wind drew to a close and the potential of the offshore wind industry at scale remained subject to fierce debate.
During his tenure, however, MacNeal has seen the sector experience dramatic growth, catalysed by a string of policy wins for the industry.
Most notably, the UK government changed its policy to support new onshore wind projects via Contracts for Difference auctionsearlier this year, while the offshore wind industry has enjoyed rapid growth that has been driven by falling costs and a broadly supportive policy environment. The sector is now tipped for a hugely successful decade, after RenewableUK helped broker a sector deal with the government that included a new goal to deliver 40GW of capacity by 2030 and support for innovative new technologies like floating wind turbines.
On the back of these successes, earlier this year RenewableUK sketched out an overarching vision for the country's energy transition with renewable energy at its heart, aiming for 76 per cent of UK power to be provided by renewables by 2050.
The body also unveiled a green economic recovery plan aiming to attract more than £20bn of investment that could support 12,000 new skilled jobs.
Announcing his departure next year, McNeal said he was "immensely proud of the work our members are doing to transform the UK's energy system, and our industry is leading the fastest low carbon transition of any major economy".
"We have a long way to go to achieve net zero but we're making extraordinary progress, driven by a sector which is achieving breakthroughs that no one expected even a few years ago," he said.
RenewableUK Chair Stephen Bull praised MacNeal for his "superb leadership" through a period of "real transformation" for the renewables industry.
"Our industry is at the forefront of the green recovery, delivering the world's largest renewable energy projects, investing in green hydrogen technologies and creating jobs and capacity in the UK supply chain. It's an incredibly exciting time for the sector as we scale up to meet the challenges of the 2020s," Bull said.
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