Political infighting ‘harming UK’s green investment’May 30, 2013
Political infighting is damaging green prospects for the UK, analysts have warned.
The country has risen to fifth place in Ernst & Young’s latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices (RECAI).
However, experts have warned it is missing its chance to become the European “market of choice for investment in renewables” due to the arguments of politicians, which are slowing down the passage of much-needed reforms to the energy market.
The improvement is mainly down to the UK’s progress in the offshore wind sector – for this it is ranked the most attractive investment destination in the world.
According to Ernst & Young, however, delays in pushing through a stable clean energy policy framework via the Energy Bill are seeing other countries’ investment in the UK renewables sector held back.
Ben Warren, environmental finance leader at the company, commented: "We are at a stage where the UK is presented with a unique opportunity to become a safe harbour for renewable energy investment in Europe.
"The foundations are there, reflected by the UK's consistent performance in our index and its current fifth place ranking, as well as its huge offshore wind potential.
“However, competing visions and strategies within the government about the country's future energy mix, pose serious questions amongst investors about whether we can compete for capital on a global level."
These comments come ahead of the third reading of the government’s Energy Bill, which is set to see around £110 billion of new investment in clean energy.
However, while the government has promised industry that progress will be made before parliament retires for summer, the Bill is likely to see debate over the introduction of one of its amendments, which calls for a 2030 power sector decarbonisation target.
It was previously thought that the government would consider a decarbonisation target in 2016, however an amendment proposed by Conservative MP Tim Yeo and Barry Gardiner, of Labour, would see such a goal adopted from next year.
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