Blog: Are you putting your money where your mouth is?

Low carbon, renewables, sustainability – the words used every single day and by almost everyone you come across in the energy industry. I might be right in saying that every […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Low carbon, renewables, sustainability – the words used every single day and by almost everyone you come across in the energy industry.

I might be right in saying that every conversation you have about a new technology or energy generation includes using one or all of those words. And it’s not a bad thing.

Because we need to look at cutting energy costs, creating new technologies and doing so in a sustainable way for a brighter and secure energy future for generations to come.

New statistics released from the Department of Energy and Climate Change showed low carbon generation accounted for 29.6% of energy supply, a rise from the previous year of 26.7%. And wind generation rose a staggering 33% in 2012 whilst gas fell.

Now, this shows Chancellor George Osborne’s so-called ‘dash for gas’, which has come under heavy criticism, isn’t doing so well. So it calls for a little celebration perhaps?

I’m afraid not. Why, you ask? Because the UK is still not as attractive a place as the US, Germany or France for renewable energy investment. Ernst & Young’s report showed the UK is in sixth place (again!) and countries like Japan have moved up the table because of its strong support for renewables.

Does that mean the UK isn’t getting as much support? Well, it seems it’s still coming down to the Government’s Energy Bill – the lack of a decarbonisation target that’s failing to give investors the certainty they need.

So its policy, policy and policy again and the “political squabbling” that’s going on especially with wind power that needs to be resolved – and resolved fairly quickly. Because investors are very dependent on policies to be stable and transparent and UK policies don’t seem to give them that.

And the UK will have to be very ambitious if it is to retain its place as western economies are believed to be gradually slipping down the attractiveness table for investors. Unless of course the Government plans to take a very active role in making sure they replace fossil fuel generations with renewables, Ernst & Young told ELN.

But with the DECC stats, it proves businesses are playing their part and paving the way towards a low carbon and sustainable future. It shows we’re heading in the right direction.

And it seems people are actually putting their money where their mouth is.