£33bn for new energy projects in the UK

Some 40 infrastructure projects, with a total capital value of £33bn, have passed the first hurdle to secure Government funding guarantees, the Treasury has announced

Chairman and CEO of Five Quarter Energy Harry Bradbury
Chairman and CEO of Five Quarter Energy Harry Bradbury

Some 40 infrastructure projects, with a total capital value of £33bn, have passed the first hurdle to secure Government funding guarantees, the Treasury has announced.

Around half the total value is accounted for by the £16bnbn Hinkley C nuclear power plant unveiled this week, but Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander released a list of 15 further projects which have “prequalified” for guarantees.

More than half of those which have prequalified status are energy projects, including plants to generate electricity from biomass, waste, unconventional gas, wind and wood.

Government agreement to act as guarantor for a proportion of the capital value of a project is intended to encourage private investment by providing investors with confidence that they will get their money back if the scheme does not pay.

The UK Guarantee scheme is authorised to issue up to £40bn of guarantees.

Mr Alexander said: “Getting our infrastructure right means we can be globally competitive, boost growth and create jobs across the UK.

“What we see today is the extent to which the Government is reaching out to help the private sector build Britain’s key infrastructure.

“Having passed the first hurdle, these companies know the Government is there to help if they need it.”

Labour has warned of the Government’s poor record.

Tom Greatrex, Labour’s shadow energy minister, said: “Investment in key energy projects has halved.

“Their mixed messages, and infighting on energy policy has put thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of investment at risk. This is especially true in the North East, a region which has the potential to become an energy hub.

“The announcement of these projects, while welcome, is frankly a case of relatively little very late as the Tories disinterest in infrastructure outside of the South East is now catching up with them.”

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