Ernst & Young: Gas vision undermining UK clean energy investment

The UK renewable energy sector remains beset by concerns over policy clarity and the central role some ministers are planning for gas power, according to Ernst & Young's latest quarterly report on the most attractive markets globally for clean energy investment.

Although the country's overall score dropped, the UK actually rose one place in the 40-country rankings to fifth, but only because of Italy's dramatic decline to joint sixth with France following prolonged economic problems and cuts to renewable energy subsidies since the previous report.

China continues to lead the league table, with the US and Germany in joint second, and India in fourth. Canada, Japan and Brazil complete the top 10.
Ernst & Young notes that a number of UK policy and subsidy announcements were made over the past three months, with ministers arguing the new policy framework would establish "transparency, longevity and certainty" for the renewable energy sector.

But the consultancy giant warns the consensus across the industry is that the Draft Energy Bill in particular has failed to deliver the promised stability, due to a lack of commitment to decarbonise the UK's electricity supply by 2030 in line with the Committee on Climate Change's recommendations.

"The lack of clarity and detail from various policy announcements, and the ambiguous messages coming out of the Treasury and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), has been frustrating for the renewable sector," said Ben Warren, Ernst & Young's energy and environmental finance leader.

"More importantly, the ongoing uncertainty risks delaying much-needed investment further, undermining the UK's ability to achieve its 2020 targets and benefit from the creation of green collar jobs."

Elsewhere, the second quarter of 2012 saw global renewable energy investment jump 24 per cent on the previous three months to $59.6bn, mainly driven by a 92 per cent rise in China.

Meanwhile, Europe and the US saw an increase in total new investment of 11 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.

Its not just these Guy's that are feeling this way.  Many consumers and SME feel the same level of confusion over Govt rhetoric and policy.