The financial uncertainty triggered by the UK’s vote to leave the EU has sent shudders through virtually every industry, but Europe’s renewable energy sector faces even greater insecurity. The successful Leave campaign was led by several political figures opposed to tackling climate change by replacing fossil fuel power stations with wind farms and other sources of renewable energy. The campaign’s strategy committee included Lord [Nigel] Lawson, founder of the Global Warming Policy Foundation think-tank which says the science of climate change is “not yet settled”. Brexit figurehead Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London, once questioned global warming during a snowy winter and likened wind farms to a “hideous Venusian invasion” that is “crucifying our landscape “. None of the contenders to replace David Cameron as prime minister are vigorous renewable energy advocates and one, Michael Gove, was once accused of trying to downgrade climate change in the national schools curriculum. With the UK political landscape in a historic state of disarray, it is unclear how the future government will behave. But the Leave victory raises questions about whether years of cross-party consensus on the need to combat global warming may fray.
FT 3rd July 2016 read more »
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is warning that funding for UK renewables may be cut as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the EU which put the bank in an ‘unprecedented’ situation. The latest warning – which suggests the status of the EIB will be a key issue in Brexit talks – comes as engineering giant Siemens brought new wind investments in the UK to a sudden halt. Investments have been hit by rising uncertainty and the falling value of the pound which drives up the cost of imports. There is potential for “many more” such investments to follow, according to Seb Dance, Labour’s MEP on the European environment committee. “It [Siemens’ decision] is symptomatic of the levels of uncertainty. There is potential for more of that kind of thing happening…. The truth of matter is we are in a situation where we have a complete vacuum of ideas and leadership… There is absolutely nothing telling business or investors that if they put money into a particular project they are going to get anything back.”
Energydesk 4th July 2016 read more »
Billions of pounds of European funding for UK clean energy projects including offshore wind farms as well as universities and other big infrastructure schemes have been jeopardised by Britain’s vote to quit the EU. Britain is a 16 per cent shareholder in the European Investment Bank (EIB), which in the past decade has lent more than £42 billion at super-cheap rates to wind farms, hospitals, railways, social housing and a string of other projects.
Times 4th July 2016 read more »