British renewables investment drops 70%

Figures released today (March 29) appear to show the UK is rapidly collapsing as a renewable energy hub.

Apparent fear amongst private investors over the Conservative lead coalition's position on renewable power seems to have completely stalled what was a rapidly growing market, according to the figures.

World-wide statistics released by the influential American Pew Charitable Trust claim the UK's private investment in clean energy fell by 70% in 2010.

The drop in UK funding comes depite figures for the rest of the world where, overall, investment grew by 30% to a new record of $243 billion in 2010.

It also means Britain's position among G-20 leaders slips from fifth in 2009 to an unlucky 13th.

China remains the global leader attracting a record $54.4 billion in equity in 2010 a 39% increase.

Germany came second, up from third, doubling financing to $41.2 billion and for the first time, India moved into the top 10, with $4billion in investment a 25% increase.

"With a new government in the United Kingdom, investors appear to have taken to the sidelines until there is more certainty in the marketplace," said Pew's clean energy program director Phyllis Cuttino.

"Our research consistently demonstrates that strong policy attracts investments. Nations like China, Germany and India, which all saw an increase, were attractive to financers because they have national policies that create long-term certainty for investors."

Solarcentury's head of public affairs, Seb Berry, said the results were hardly 'surprising'.

He said: "Worryingly, there are few signs ministers are heeding the warnings from investors.

"In less than ten months the new Government has turned the fledgling UK solar industry literally upside down with its ill-considered and frankly shambolic fast track review.

"Ministers are living in a dream world if they think that their shock U-turn on the feed-in tariff won't have consequences in terms of other policies or the general standing of the UK in the clean tech investor community."

Luke Walsh


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