UK loses top energy supplier status as cuts to renewables dent confidence

The UK has lost its 'top energy supplier' status according to the World Energy Council’s trilemma index for 2015.

The country has maintained its overall fourth place but been downgraded from AAA to AAB due to a drop in its energy equity score, which measures accessibility and affordability of energy.

In a report issued this morning, the council attributed this downgrade to the “significant challenges” the UK faces in securing its future energy supply. For that reason the UK remains on the council’s ‘negative watch list’.

“If the UK is to remain ahead of the pack, and regain its ‘triple A’ positioning, the government must give more predictability to investors in the way the electricity market reforms are progressed. More transparency is needed about the future approach to contracts for difference and the levy control framework,” Joan MacNaughton, executive chair of the World Energy Trilemma study, said.

Just two countries – Switzerland and Sweden – now maintain a top ‘AAA’ ranking and the UK now joins a host of other countries on the reduced ranking, including Norway, Denmark and France.

While the UK ranks favourably in global energy security stakes according to the WEC, it lies 21st in environmental sustainability behind countries such as Panama, Guatemala and Angola.

The downgrade comes just months after the UK slipped out of the top 10 of Big Four consultancy group EY’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index for the first time in its history, again attributed to a lack of consistency in renewable energy policies.

While the WEC downgrade is not good for the UK just weeks before the COP 21 summit starts in Paris, the UK will bear no charge for its lost rating like it does when international credit ratings are downgraded.