Investors call on UK government for greater support of renewables
Thirteen investors have sent a letter, coordinated by the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), to the George Osborne, the UK's Chancellor, to highlight investor concerns over recent policy announcements relating to investment in the renewables sector.
The letter focused on the benefits of renewable energy to the UK. These include increased energy security, reinforcement of the electricity network and benefits to consumers from integration of clean energy sources while ensuring the grid remains balanced.
Investors also made clear the need to decarbonise the UK economy, particularly with COP21 taking place in December. They called for a low risk environment in the UK energy sector to help meet the estimated £200bn of required investment by 2020 – of which only a quarter has been met so far.
Simon Howard, UKSIF Chief Executive said: “We support the Government’s commitment to transitioning to a low-carbon economy while keeping consumer bills low. However, it is crucial that the Government maintains the stable policy framework we have had over the past few years if it is to keep costs down and encourage investment in energy infrastructure. Sudden changes, like those being proposed, have serious consequences for companies and for investors.
"But with COP21 only a matter of weeks away, we believe the Government should be doing more. The UK already has its own commitments under the Climate Change Act and it is very likely there will be agreement on a new package of measures to tackle climate change in December. In meeting those commitments the Government will need to rely on the private sector to finance low-carbon energy infrastructure. These changes will highlight the short-term nature of the policy regime and will do nothing to instil confidence towards future investment."
The 13 signatories are Simon Howard, chief executive, UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association; Lisa Ashford, ceo, Ethex; Matthew Clayton, executive director, Triodos Renewables; John David, head of Rathbone Greenbank Investments, Rathbone Greenbank Investments; Paul Ellis, chief executive, Ecology Building Society; Julia Groves, chief executive, Trillion Fund; Karl Harder, md, Abundance Generation; Pierre Jameson, cio, Church of England Pension Board; Tom Joy, director of Investments, The Church Commissioners; George Latham, managing partner and cio, WHEB Group; Karen McGrath, head of sustainability, Kempen Capital Management; Charles Middleton, md, Triodos Bank Meryam Omi, head of sustainability, Legal and General Investment Management and Michael Quicke OBE, chief executive, CCLA.