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New UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary, but what will change for Clean Energy Investment?

Edward Davey, a Liberal Democrat MP, has replaced Chris Huhne as the Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). He is determined to “follow on” Huhne’s policies and priorities, and wants a green economy, green jobs and green investment.

Dramatic Changes Unlikely at the DECC

Davey, who was officially appointed on the 3rd of February, has said that he will continue with Huhne’s main plans. His first statement, published today, outlines plans for increasing Offshore wind capacity, and “community energy efficiency grants” which include projects to promote insulation and energy efficiency.

He emphasised the UK’s potential to lead the world in clean energy: “I want the UK to be the number one destination for green investment. We’re in this race to win it.”

His first statement emphasised that Davey was trained as an economist, and notes the importance of “marrying” environmental and economic agendas. He notes that low carbon industries could reduce the UK’s dependence on the City.

Conservatives express concern over Onshore Wind

Over 100 MPs have written to Prime Minister David Cameron to raise concerns over the cost of on-shore Wind subsidies, and the ability of locals to oppose planning permission. This highlights the importance of the wind and renewable energy debate, and the lack of agreement over which methods are the best for investment into the future.

It has been reported that a Downing Street spokesperson has said “onshore wind is a cost effective and valuable part of the UK's diverse energy mix”, implying that the subsidies may be safe, so the main issue might be planning permission, and could be the debate that establishes Ed Davey’s position as DECC Secretary.

Future for Clean Energy Investing and Climate Change Policy

From what we know now, Davey is unlikely to change the DECC policy of reducing the feed-in-tariffs for renewable energy. One of his main projects will be shaping the Green Deal, which aims to improve energy efficiency in the UK. He has also expressed his concerns over high energy bills, and will take policy steps against this.

The Budget, to be announced on the 21st of March 2012, will shape the UK’s fiscal policy, and will have important insight into the future of the UK economy, which in turn will shape UK renewable energy policy. The deadline for the Green Investment Bank is this year, to be delivered by the Department for Business, which will provide funds for industries such as offshore wind, waste processing and energy efficiency. Investors will benefit from more certain renewable energy policy, as companies will then be more able to plan for the future.

Fund context:

The Worldwise Investor Clean Energy theme has investment funds with access to Renewable energy companies, energy efficiency companies, and some have access to natural gas companies. Examples include Pictet Clean Energy and SAM Smart Energy.

There are also funds in the Environmental and Multi Thematic sections which have access to clean energy investment among other themes. An example of this is Cheviot Climate Assets which invests in Renewable Energy, Natural Gas, Energy Efficiency, Water Desalination, Railway Transport, Agricultural Equipment, Irrigation and Vaccines.

Related funds:

Quilter Cheviot Climate Assets
Pictet Clean Energy
Jul Baer RobecoSAM Smart Energy

Useful links:

DECC: Going for growth means going for green

The Telegraph: Full letter from MPs to David Cameron on wind power subsidies

The Telegraph: New energy secretary Ed Davey will help cash-strapped households to beat soaring power bills

Department for Business Innovation and Skills: Green Investment Bank

The Guardian: Chris Huhne's successor faces clash as Tories attack windfarms spending

The Guardian: Chris Huhne - most greens 'think he has done well'

Liberal Democrats: Edward Davey

Tags: UK |

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Louise Fallonall articles

Louise Fallon starting working for Worldwise Investor as an intern over the summer and has written a number of articles during that time.

Louise is studying for a degree in Mathematics and Economics BSc at London School of Economics and Political Science, and graduates next summer.

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