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Clegg announces £100m for energy efficiency scheme
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, announced the agreement of a £100 million funding contract, dedicated to encouraging foreign and domestic investment in Non-Domestic Energy Efficiency (NDEE) projects, yesterday (6 August), at the British Business Embassy Global Business Summit on Energy.
The funding comes as part of a government contract by UK Green Investments (UKGI) - based at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – with NDEE fund manager Equitax and Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL) and comes ahead of the arrival of the UK Green Investment Bank (UKGIB), which is expected to open later this year, following state aid approval.
The Deputy Prime Minister also made public an additional three projects designed to further improve the UK’s low carbon sector. These included the announcement of plans by global engineering company, Grupotec, to expand their Richmond office in order to support their increased UK ground and roof solar PV installations - more than doubling their current workforce at the premises.
Speaking of the plans yesterday, Clegg said: “The UK is the sixth largest market in low carbon goods and environmental services and this Coalition Government is unreservedly committed to helping our low carbon sector thrive. We seek nothing less than a clean, green, low carbon economy.
“There is a global energy revolution underway. And the UK is not going to be left behind. We’re leading from the front. Together we find ourselves at the vanguard of one of the most dynamic, most innovative, most important industries of our time; an industry whose breakthroughs and endeavours will shape our societies for years to come; an industry that will help us build a more stable, more sustainable, more prosperous world.”
The international business summit, which will run throughout the Olympics and Paralympics, has been organised by UK Trade & Investment and consists of 18 different conferences.
The summit’s focus on energy continued today (7 August), with Chancellor George Osborne outlining controversial plans to attract further investment in the UK’s gas and oil industries: “The Global Business Summit is a demonstration of how the UK can lead the world in the energy sector: securing investment, creating jobs and building a more prosperous future. And there is no better example of the significant contribution that this sector makes to our economy than the UK oil and gas industry. This has long been one of our great industrial success stories, supporting a third of a million jobs, and extracting the equivalent of over 40 billion barrels of oil to date.
Last month we made clear that we expect gas to play a key role in meeting electricity demand for the UK throughout the 2020s and beyond. We will provide more detail in the autumn on steps we will take to make the UK an even more attractive place for gas investors.“
Osborne’s remarks appear to fly in the face of the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme, which requires UK energy suppliers to increase the share of sustainable energy they supply as part of the country’s goal of switching 15 per cent of its energy consumption to sustainable resources.
Responding to the Chancellor’s speech, Louise Hutchins, Senior Energy Campaigner at the environmental charity, Greenpeace, expressed concern at Osborne’s approach: "With the world watching during the Olympics, Britain has once more been let down by a Chancellor stuck in the economics of the 1970s whilst our competitors invest in new technologies and clean energy. With the cost of gas driving up bills, the CBI is pushing Osborne to instead generate jobs and growth by investing in clean energy. Drill baby drill, burn baby burn will harm consumers and the British economy.”
Further details of the British Business Embassy can be found on the UK Trade & Investment website.
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