Industry raises fears over investor certainty following Brexit vote

Senior figures within the renewable energy industry have expressed concerns following the UK’s historic vote to leave the European Union (EU).

Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association, said: “This result raises serious questions for investor certainty, energy security and much-needed investment in the UK energy infrastructure.

“Energy policy must be a priority for the Government now, with industry needing reassurance and ministerial clarity on priorities. The first in this list must be confirmation of the fifth carbon budget, which will hopefully give some confidence in the long-term direction of UK energy policy.

“The vast majority of our members had fears of Brexit, and we will be consulting with them and government in the coming weeks to set out a plan for continued low carbon energy investment, deployment and assurance of the 117,000 jobs in this sector.”

Challenge for government

Hugh McNeal, Chief Executive at fellow trade body RenewableUK, said his members had “differing views” on the outcome of the vote.

“The British people have made their judgement, and of course we respect that. Our focus will continue to be on delivering power to the UK at the lowest cost. Our future is bright; the European and global opportunities remain immense for the industries I'm proud to represent,” he added.

But Richard Black, Director of the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit, a London-based charity, noted: “Leaving the EU is likely to put an upwards pressure on energy bills, partly due to the direct financial costs of Brexit and also the impact of reduced investor confidence.

“So an immediate challenge for the Government following this vote will be to prevent bills rising.”

‘The lights will stay on’

Trade body Energy UK was quick to reassure customers following the result of the referendum.

“The important message today is people need not worry, the lights will stay on and power and gas will continue to flow to homes and businesses,” the organisation said.

“Energy UK’s members will work to ensure energy remains cost-effective and reliable for customers in the UK.”

Meanwhile, Brent North MP Barry Gardiner has replaced Lisa Nandy as the shadow energy and climate change secretary following her resignation. Both Energy Secretary Amber Rudd and Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom have been touted as possible leadership candidates for the Conservative Party.

> Read the official result