Energy targets at risk with lack of green finance

More needs to be done to instil confidence in the UK’s ability to meet its energy targets, according to Siemens Industry and the Energy Institute.

In a poll of over 300 senior energy specialists across the UK, only a third (33 per cent) thought it was possible for Britain to meet its 2050 energy targets to reduce emissions by 80 per cent.

In addition, more than half (55 per cent) of respondents thought the target would not be met.

The Energy Institute, which commissioned the poll, said it suggested a significant lack of access to finance for companies wanting to invest in green technologies to reduce emissions and comply with EU and UK legislation.

A total of 88 per cent of respondents said that banks and the financial sector were either not interested in supporting investment in energy efficient technologies or provided “little feedback”.

Stephen Barker, head of energy efficiency at Siemens Industry said the government had taken positive steps in increasing capital allowance for firms wanting to invest in energy efficient technologies.

Along with the creation of the “positive, but still emerging” Green Investment Bank, Barker said the government had made a good start.

However, he argued that the effectiveness of these measures was limited as there is a gap in the delivery of finance for investment in the wider end user community.

“The root of the problem is that we are often too short term in our thinking. What businesses need is access to affordable credit to allow them to make these types of investment, which can be capital intensive in the short term – but in the long term there is a reward of much lower energy costs which can transform the profitability of the manufacturing sector,” he said.