Seven major energy companies employing 17,500 workers in Britain are threatening to withdraw hundreds of millions of pounds of investment because of a lack of decision making and attempts to downgrade green targets.
Siemens, Alstom UK, Mitsubishi Power Systems, Areva, Doosan, Gamesa and Vestas signed a letter (£) to Ed Davey, George Osborne and David Cameron they plan “significant further investment” in British infrastructure – though this is “critically dependent on a long-term stable policy framework”.
The letter adds (£):
“Historically the UK has benefited from being known as a country with low political risk for energy investments. Undermining that reputation would have damaging consequences for the scale of future investments in the UK energy sector. It is important to protect that reputation carefully.”
This latest call from the energy companies echoes the views of policy makers that investors are increasingly worried by the continued policy uncertainty at the Department of Energy and Climate Change and Treasury, with Labour being urged to step into the void and pledge to actually lay claim to being the “greenest government ever” if returned at the next election.
“There are two things we need Labour to do; the energy bill will be a tough fight, we need to champion this idea of the green recovery – it must be green. As Labour become serious challengers, investors will want to listen more (to 2015); in policy terms the green recovery is right as well as being the right thing to do…
“Some of the private lobbying needs to come into the public domain; Osborne is picking gas - but we need to minimise this to meet carbon budgets, we need to make sure people hear that and understand that – this is a huge opportunity for Labour.
“Green needs to be at the heart of Labour’s election strategy.”
The chancellor addresses the Tory party conference today – is it too much to ask that he’ll finally listen, if not to policy makers than to the energy companies?