General election ‘has increased energy investment risks’

  The main problem caused by the general election is that is has created more risk at a time when large energy investments are urgently required. That’s according to Jeremy Nicholson, […]

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By Jonny Bairstow
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The main problem caused by the general election is that is has created more risk at a time when large energy investments are urgently required.

That’s according to Jeremy Nicholson, Director of the Energy Intensive Users Group (EIUG), who spoke to ELN outside Westminster Palace last Friday following the results of the national vote.

He said: “Of course uncertainty’s a problem for everyone and the energy industry is no exception. Nor indeed is it a matter of indifference to consumers – energy consumers have a lot riding on this election too.

“So on the one hand it’s positive, a threat of nationalisation doesn’t look like it’s imminent, which would have been a problem with a Labour Government and that would have been a problem for consumers as well as the industry.

“On the other hand we don’t have certainty about where this government’s going to go or how long it’s going to last, so whether it’s going to deliver on things like a review of energy prices remains to be seen.”

Mr Nicholson added energy intensive industries like steel and chemical works are currently paying amongst the most expensive electricity prices in Europe and said this needs to be resolved alongside decarbonising the country’s energy supplies.

He suggested it was not yet possible to tell how the results of the election would affect the UK’s relationship with Europe but hinted at further uncertainty, particularly with regards to the Emissions Trading Scheme and unilateral carbon price floor.

Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said: “Businesses have shown in the last year that they are resilient to surprise results, but they have now been thrown into political limbo.

“With crucial Brexit negotiations coming up fast, in addition to the significant domestic challenges we face, the lack of a government with a majority undeniably creates uncertainty.”