UK set to miss net zero goals without private sector investment
The government must do more to unlock private investment for green projects or risk missing its decarbonisation targets, according to a new report from a committee of MPs.
A new report from the Public Accounts Committee entitled Decarbonising the power sector has called on the government to provide a more coherent delivery plan to lure investment into renewable projects in order to help remove fossil fuels from the country’s electricity system by 2035.
The committee said that it was not convinced that government is providing enough clarity to the private sector to attract the investment that is necessary to build infrastructure, spur innovation and drive competition to lower costs.
The group also warned that energy security secretary Grant Shapps still has “a lot to do if the government is to achieve its ambition.”
To meet this goal, the panel cautioned against further policy instability, including the imposition and frequent tinkering with the windfall tax, and the stop-start nature of initiatives such as the green homes grant voucher scheme, which have eroded investor confidence in government.
They also believed that the government needs to bring together its raft of energy plans into one single coherent strategy so it can better communicate to investors where funds should be directed.
Responding to the report, Laimonas Noreika, CEO of ClimateTech company HeavyFinance said: “The race to hit net zero targets requires more than just good intentions, it relies upon extensive investment, overhauling of existing infrastructure and a long-term commitment to environmentally friendly business practices.
“Many companies are keen to improve their green credentials, but without access to financial support to drive change, they are struggling to stay on track. Only by unleashing investment and setting out a clear action plan for change will the UK be able to accelerate its journey, reducing emissions and embracing renewable technologies for the long term,” added Noreika.
The report also said that the department should set out in the delivery plan due later this year how it will provide greater clarity to the private sector to encourage the investment it needs to decarbonise the power sector.
“We have already attracted £120bn of private investment in renewables since 2010 and expect to attract a further £100bn of investment which will support up to 480,000 jobs by 2030,” a department for energy security and net zero spokesperson said.