Select committee inquiry launched into UK renewables investment confidence

The Energy and Climate Change select committee has responded to continuing concerns over investment confidence in the UK by launching an inquiry into the impact DECC’s policy making process has on investor decisions.

The committee confirmed its inquiry decisions this afternoon having asked industry stakeholders over the summer which areas of DECC’s policy making “required particular scrutiny”.

A stakeholder forum was then held last week in order to prioritise urgent issues and after “lively and well-informed debates” settled on the main topics of investor confidence, home energy efficiency and low carbon network infrastructure.

The scope of the investment inquiry is to determine the factors that contribute to investor confidence in the UK’s energy sector and to greater understand how DECC’s policy making process might impact on those decisions.

The timing of the inquiry comes as concern over third-party confidence in the UK has mounted. Big Four consultancy EY this morning demoted the UK to outside the top 10 of its Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index for the first time in its 12 year history citing continued policy pressure, while Mayor of London and Conservative Party stalwart Boris Johnson broke rank to speak of his concern for renewable energy investment at a Mayor’s Question Time session this afternoon.

And yesterday governmental advisory body the Committee on Climate Change warned of “major risks” posed to longer-term renewables investment by policy upheaval due to the lengthier lead time and lifecycle of energy projects.

Details of the inquiry can be found here and written submissions will be accepted until Monday 26 October 2015, after which evidence will be published.