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UK must avoid more energy consultations

Further consultations on introducing renewables could seriously damage the UK’s efforts to be a world leader in the sector.

Research by Ernst & Young has discovered the UK dropped from fourth to sixth place in its index which tracked and scored countries on how attractive they have been for global investment in renewable energy over the first six months of the year.

Jonathan Johns, head of renewable energy at Ernst & Young, argues the UK Government’s delays in finalising its Energy Bill and lack of momentum in implementing the European Union’s Renewables Directive is damaging its ranking.

He argues any further consultations could lead to two years of “relative inactivity” – leaving 10 years for the UK to establish a renewables infrastructure effective enough to meet its 2020 target.

Mr Johns suggests Germany could act as a model for the UK. Ernst & Young said Germany has climbed up the rankings thanks to “coherent legislative framework” including the introduction of feed-in tariffs.

Meanwhile, he points out China has made rapid progress thanks to building up its supply chain capability and setting a 15 per cent target for securing energy from non-carbon sources by 2020.
He said: “To make the UK a world leader in attracting investment in this sector, and to avoid it slipping further down the index, the government needs to consider creating tangible incentives for investors, following the lead of Germany and the ambition of China.”

Mr Johns said investors needed to would not only be attracted by incentives, but also whether systems put in place by governments were seen as value for money for consumers in terms of the number of tonnes of carbon dioxide saved.

Mr Johns said: “As renewable energy becomes more competitive versus fossil fuels, governments around the world are under increasing pressure to consider how they incentivise investment in renewables projects, and what impact this has on taxpayers”

The top five countries in the overall index were the United States, Germany, India, China and Spain.