June 6, 2014

UK Energy Minister Says Renewables are a Priority "Despite the Political Noise"

Energy Minister Greg Barker has told an investor summit the UK renewable energy industry has the best potential for “long-term, stable returns”.

He described how the Government is a “genuine partner” in helping to secure growth in a clean energy sector that is affordable, scalable and sustainable.

And he said there remains strong cross-party support for renewables “despite the political noise”. 

Mr Barker made his upbeat comments at a meeting of fund managers attending the Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets UK renewables infrastructure investor day.

He described how in little over a year, seven new listed investment companies had delivered £1.4bn of new money to help support the development of the renewables market.

The Government Minister added: “Your funds, built on reliable, proven technologies like wind and solar, and supported by our long term incentives, means that many institutional investors are increasingly considering renewables in a new light.

“A safe, low-risk, transparent asset class worthy of investment consideration. For those seeking long-term, stable returns, this sector offers enormous potential.”

The Energy Minister described how Britain is committed to a long-term renewables agenda and has the policy framework, and the funding, in place to give certainty to investors

He added: “We have become the world-leaders in offshore wind, and intend to both safeguard that position and strengthen our expertise in the supply chain and in other renewables.

“According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, year-on-year investment in renewables has dropped back since 2011, falling by 50% across the EU.

“Yet in the UK the investment picture is dramatically different to the rest of Europe, growing by 20% to a total of £8bn in 2013 – outperforming even that stalwart of the renewables revolution, Germany – and a new record high.

“But it was also gratifying to see in their conference last month in New York that Bloomberg now anticipates a sharp rise in clean energy investment globally in the coming two years.”

Mr Barker described how renewable energy is backed by all political parties, which reflects strong public support.

“We should remember too that despite the political noise, there remains a strong cross-party consensus on renewables,” he commented. “At the passing of the Energy Bill in November, Conservatives and Lib Dems were joined in the division by the official opposition, giving the Energy Act one of the largest majorities of this parliament.

“And the public backs renewables too. Our own polling shows overall renewable support at 77%. With support for technologies such as Solar PV even higher at 85%.”

On the subject of cuts to solar subsidies, Mr Barker explained: “Our hugely ambitious Solar Strategy, published last month, spelt out in detail what I have been saying for several years, namely, it is the solar rooftop market and onsite generation for commerce and industry that is our focus for growth… not remote field solar.

“There is still a place for solar arrays as the sector continues to grow. But it is the onsite generation market that is our first priority.

“Our proposals, which would take effect next year, focus our incentives and further clarify our intent,” he told the audience. “But I want to reassure you that we’ve done so in a calm and measured way.

“We have provided a year of notice. Changes would only come into law from April next year. Our proposals also include grace periods to protect significant investments.”

No comments:

Post a Comment