Energy UK chief calls for investor reassurance

Energy UK chief executive Emma Pinchbeck has urged the next UK Government “not to blink” on the nation’s net zero ambitions.

She said that investors needed to be given greater reassurance that the UK was the “place to invest”, as the worldwide energy sector experiences “growing ambition in the global race for green investment”.

Her message came as the trade body launched its manifesto as its annual conference in London on October 18.

Themes from the document include the vital role of energy in the UK’s transition to a net zero economy and the contribution it seems likely to make in the forthcoming campaign for next General Election, widely expected to be no more than 12 months away.

Pinchbeck said: “Project costs [for renewable energy] are up 40%, hence why we didn’t get any offshore wind in the latest round of auctions.

“Despite this, we are seeing growing ambition in the global race for green investment.

“In an energy transition where we expect 70% of the cost to be met by private capital, we are seeing more and more competition.

“We are on the cusp of a new energy era and countries around the world are competing for their part in it.

“Given the size and scale of the task, the UK must not blink of its net zero ambitions.

“We must give investors reassurance that this is the place to invest their money and champion the benefits of new technology.”

Pinchbeck added that the manifesto did not “contain all the answers to all the problems” faced by the UK energy sector but did include some interesting proposals in areas including social tariffs, planning reform, productivity and investment.

Energy UK estimates these investment opportunities to be worth £1.3 trillion by 2050.

She concluded: “Times are challenging for our businesses and customers, and it is sometimes difficult to look too far into the future.

“I do not underestimate the need for urgent action before the next election, but manifestos and new narratives are now being written.

“It is important that our message is one of confidence, opportunity and hope to the people we serve.”

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