Powering the UK, a report from Ernst & Young carried out for Energy UK, finds jobs increasing and energy companies’ investment at a 20-year high.
The reports key findings are:
Between 2007 and 2011, energy companies doubled their investment in the UK to £43 billion. They are among the largest investors in the country, and have increased jobs by nearly two thirds.
The number of people directly and indirectly employed in the sector is over 600,000.
But there are challenges ahead. The UK needs to address climate change and the sector will play a significant role in achieving this. However, it is clear that the investment framework is becoming more uncertain, with this report worryingly highlighting that the attractiveness of the UK investment environment has worsened since 2010. The priority must be to see that this recent trend is quickly reversed.
To do this, the UK needs to move swiftly to get the right policies and the right regulations in place to ensure the investment in new generation and in the transmission network comes forward. None of this is free - it will come at a price, and bills are already rising due to world energy prices, environmental and social obligations and more. And rising bills are never welcome. Importantly, the route ahead must be one that is affordable to customers. Policy is not in the hands of the industry, nor do they control the global market which affects us all. This now has to be the time for all with a stake in our energy future - industry, government, regulators and customer representatives - to work together to address the challenges ahead, for the right decisions to be taken in the best interests of the country.