The bosses behind Britain’s multibillion-pound clear vitality rollout have warned the federal government that the UK’s tough financial circumstances and political uncertainty have taken a toll on investor confidence.
About 20 trade bosses representing firms from throughout the sector attended a summit at No 10 to debate their plans to speculate greater than £100bn within the UK economic system.
Grant Shapps, the vitality secretary, convened the assembly days after the prime minister ignited a row with inexperienced teams, opposition events and the Conservative get together’s backbench MPs over his plans to “max out” the North Sea’s reserves.
One trade chief mentioned Shapps “took great pains” to guarantee the bosses poised to speculate billions in low- and zero-carbon initiatives that the federal government remained dedicated to its local weather ambitions.
In response, the trade leaders – from renewable vitality builders to huge oil firms – advised ministers that investor curiosity within the UK was “not as great as it used to be” due to Britain’s “difficult economic circumstances” and unsure political panorama.
“It’s all dampening investor confidence, and everyone was worried about it. It’s good that the government has heard these concerns. Hopefully this is the beginning of a conversation about how to move forward,” the attender mentioned.
Ana Musat, RenewableUK’s govt director, who attended the assembly, mentioned there was “widespread agreement of the need to improve the UK’s investment environment.
“We are all aware that prioritising the rollout of cheap, homegrown renewable energy projects is essential to strengthen Britain’s energy security,” she mentioned.
David Bunch, the nation chair for Shell UK, mentioned: “This was a productive meeting. Shell UK has already set out significant investment ambitions to support the country’s energy security and transition to a low-carbon energy system.
“The conditions for these investments are crucially dependent on fiscal stability, clarity of business models and ensuring shareholder value.”
Talking after the occasion Shapps mentioned: “The consensus among energy firms was clear – there are immense opportunities ahead and these can only be seized if the UK government, industry and regulators work together across the sector to accelerate investment into renewables, bring down bills and deliver on net zero.”
Earlier than the summit, Shapps was pressured to defend the federal government’s stance on North Sea drilling towards criticism that the plans have been incompatible with Britain’s ambitions to change into a internet zero economic system.
Rishi Sunak set out plans earlier this week to extract as a lot oil and fuel from the North Sea as potential by means of 100 or extra new drilling licences alongside a £20bn bundle of help for carbon seize and storage expertise, which is basically backed by oil firms.
The Conservative MP Chris Skidmore, who authored an influential authorities evaluation into internet zero, mentioned the choice to proceed North Sea oil exploration was “the wrong decision at precisely the wrong time when the rest of the world is experiencing record heatwaves”.
Shapps advised GB Information it might be “irresponsible” to not grant new oil and fuel licences within the North Sea and insisted the UK would “still meet our net zero targets”.
“Everyone supports this country’s transition to net zero but we cannot get there by telling people ‘we’re simply going to stop using oil and gas’. The only way to do that would be to tell people ‘don’t put your gas boiler on, don’t drive a petrol car’ – and do that almost instantaneously,” Shapps mentioned.
“Unless you do that, what you’re really saying is ‘we’re not going to dig our own oil and gas, we’ll import instead’. Yes, we’ll have more oil and gas licences but we’ll still meet our net zero targets because we’re also massively investing in all these renewables as well.”