EY: UK not doing enough to win long-term renewable investors

Britain has risen one spot to fourth in the latest ranking of the most attractive countries for investment in renewable energy, however, the Government is being urged to do more […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Britain has risen one spot to fourth in the latest ranking of the most attractive countries for investment in renewable energy, however, the Government is being urged to do more to boost the sector.

According to the EY’s latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices (RECAI), the UK moved up one place due to “revised electricity usage growth projections” and an increase in the number of new build projects.

The past few months have seen the UK Government announce details on guaranteed electricity prices under the proposed Contracts for Difference (CfDs), pledged an extra £800 million for the Green Investment Bank, officially opened the world’s largest offshore wind farm and the Energy Bill secured its passage through to the House of Lords.

However, EY claims many of these announcements were already overdue and “do not go far enough to sustain current high levels of investor activity”. It added the failure to include a 2030 decarbonisation target “threatens the UK’s ability to meet climate change goals and undermines confidence in the Government’s commitment to renewable energy”.

Ben Warren, Environmental Finance Leader at EY said: “The flurry of Government announcements has been welcomed with a sigh of relief by the sector and contributed to the current hiatus of activity and the UK’s improved position in our index. But what we are witnessing is nothing more than basic, isolated measures that had been stalled for way too long. Much work is still needed to convert this patchwork of measures into a complete, balanced and strategic plan that will sustain activity in the long term.

“After a long period of silence, the Government is now playing catch-up with investors who are not short of opportunities in other countries. While these announcements come as a pleasant surprise, this is no time for complacency as important pieces of the jigsaw are still missing if we want to produce an attractive framework.”

The report also claims the Government’s announcements contained very little information on biomass, claiming it may have been pushed aside in a rush to capitalise on shale gas.

The UK was beaten by the US, China and Germany in the new renewables investment attractiveness table.

Last month energy supplier npower said household energy bills would rise by £240 a year by the end of this decade, largely due to the cost of the Government’s green policies.