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Renewable Energy: Finance

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had with renewable energy developers on the level of private capital investment for renewable energy; and if he will make a statement. (233126)

The Department has regular discussions with both the investor community and renewable energy developers on financing of renewable energy projects in the UK.

The Government are working to create the right business environment for investment in renewable energy. We recognise that investment in energy infrastructure requires significant capital investment and a supportive regulatory framework. Investments in renewable energy projects are long-term, and we believe the costs are manageable and spread over time, with the biggest costs in the run up to 2020 and beyond. We have committed to a comprehensive package of reforms to speed up renewables deployment in the UK and provide a stable long term climate for investment in renewables.

Despite the current economic climate, the UK remains a good place to invest in green energy. Many key projects are still planning to go ahead—for example, last month’s announcement that Masdar will invest in the 1,000 megawatt (MW) London Array offshore wind farm. When built, this should be able to supply 1 per cent. of the UK’s electricity needs. This month, RWE Innogy has announced that it has acquired a 50 per cent. share of the 500 MW Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm.

Also this month, as announced during the Prime Minister’s trip to the Gulf, a new £250 million UK-Qatar Clean Technology Investment Fund will be set up to develop and deploy low carbon energy and technology. This will boost venture capital funding for early-stage UK low carbon companies and technologies and help address our climate change objectives.