UK energy secretary says right wing jeopardising renewable investment

Ed Davey, the UK’s energy secretary says right wing hardliners in the coalition conservative party are endangering lucrative investment in renewable energy.

Speaking to the Observer, the Liberal Democrat said billions of pounds worth of investment were at risk because of the uncertainty being created by government policy.

Ed Davey

Davey says that an anti-green movement, what he describes as a “Tea Part tendency” that is sweeping through the Tory party, is to blame and added that the "noise" created by some of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne "friends" on the anti-green Tory right risks putting off investors for good.

Osborne is said to have formed the view that green policies such as investment in wind farms and solar power are too costly at a time of recession, and is said to have been influenced by former Tory chancellor Lord Lawson, a climate change sceptic.

Davey says investment in low-carbon energy infrastructure projects, including wind and solar energy, carbon capture storage and new nuclear power, all of which make up a large part of projected spending of £118bn in the sector over the next decade represent huge opportunities for the British economy.

Last year alone £12.7bn was invested in the UK by the renewable energy industry, creating 20,000 jobs.

Last week the head of Vattenfall, Oystein Loseth, said the UK would fail to tempt wind turbine manufacturers to set up in the country because of the uncertainties about future government policy.

In the same Observer interview, Mr Davey described the former Tory energy minister Charles Hendry, who was enthusiastic about renewable energy but sacked in the recent reshuffle, as a "brilliant minister" and said he had no idea why he had been dismissed from the post.

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